Local Capacity (local + capacity)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The Changing Emphasis of Disasters in Bangladesh NGOs

DISASTERS, Issue 3 2001
Nilufar Matin
Bangladesh is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, affected by cyclones and floods, as well as chronic hazards such as arsenic poisoning. NGOs have played a major role in bringing concerns related to risk management on to the national agenda and promoting a shift of focus from mere relief response to disaster mitigation and preparedness. The government has, after earlier scepticism, now accepted NGOs as major partners in these tasks. Innovative approaches, such as the use of microfinance, have been applied; many of which are related to preserving the gains of development efforts as part of rehabilitation. NGOs have pressured for better co-ordination with government. Improved structures are now approved, but it is still too early to judge their impact. Despite progress, neither NGOs nor governmental agencies have clearly defined roles in the effort to link disaster management priorities. This will ensure that longer-term development efforts build on local capacities and reduce vulnerabilities. [source]

Strategies for Successful Marine Conservation: Integrating Socioeconomic, Political, and Scientific Factors

áreas marinas protegidas; planificación de conservación; reservas marinas Abstract:,As the process of marine-protected-area design and implementation evolves, the incorporation of new tools will advance our ability to create and maintain effective protected areas. We reviewed characteristics and approaches that contribute to successful global marine conservation efforts. One successful characteristic emphasized in most case studies is the importance of incorporating stakeholders at all phases of the process. Clearly defined goals and objectives at all stages of the design process are important for improved communication and standardized expectations of stakeholder groups. The inclusion of available science to guide the size and design of marine protected areas and to guide clear monitoring strategies that assess success at scientific, social, and economic levels is also an important tool in the process. Common shortcomings in marine conservation planning strategies include government instability and resultant limitations to monitoring and enforcement, particularly in developing nations. Transferring knowledge to local community members has also presented challenges in areas where in situ training, local capacity, and existing infrastructure are sparse. Inaccessible, unavailable, or outdated science is often a limitation to conservation projects in developed and developing nations. To develop and maintain successful marine protected areas, it is necessary to acknowledge that each case is unique, to apply tools and lessons learned from other marine protected areas, and to maintain flexibility to adjust to the individual circumstances of the case at hand. Resumen:,A medida que evoluciona el proceso de diseño e implementación de áreas marinas protegidas, la incorporación de nuevas herramientas mejorará nuestra habilidad para crear y mantener áreas protegidas efectivas. Revisamos las características y enfoques que contribuyen a los esfuerzos exitosos de conservación marina global. La importancia de incorporar a los actores en todas las fases del proceso es una característica exitosa enfatizada en la mayoría de los estudios de caso. Es importante que haya metas y objetivos claramente definidos para todas las etapas del proceso de diseño para mejorar la comunicación y estandarizar las expectativas de los grupos interesados. La inclusión de la ciencia disponible para guiar el tamaño y diseño de áreas marinas protegidas y para guiar las estrategias de monitoreo que evalúa el éxito a nivel científico, social y económico también son herramientas importantes en el proceso. Defectos comunes en las estrategias de planificación de conservación marina incluyen la inestabilidad gubernamental y las resultantes limitaciones para el monitoreo y vigilancia, particularmente en países en desarrollo. La transferencia de conocimiento a miembros de la comunidad local también ha enfrentado retos en áreas donde el entrenamiento in situ, la aptitud local y la infraestructura existente son escasos. La ciencia inaccesible, no disponible u obsoleta a menudo es una limitación para los proyectos de conservación en países desarrollados y en desarrollo. Para desarrollar y mantener áreas marinas protegidas exitosas, es necesario reconocer que cada caso es único, aplicar herramientas y lecciones aprendidas en otras áreas marinas protegidas y mantener la flexibilidad para ajustarse a las circunstancias individuales de cada caso. [source]

Poverty and Local Governments: Economic Development and Community Service Provision in an Era of Decentralization

ABSTRACT Social scientists have given substantial attention to poverty across U.S. localities. However, most work views localities through the lens of population aggregates, not as units of government. Few poverty researchers question whether governments of poorer localities have the capacity to engage in economic development and service activities that might improve community well-being. This issue is increasingly important as responsibilities for growth and redistribution are decentralized to local governments that vary dramatically in resources. Do poorer communities have less activist local governments? Are they more likely to be engaged in a race to the bottom, focusing on business attraction activities but neglecting services for families and working people? We bring together two distinct literatures, critical research on decentralization and research on local development efforts, that provide contrasting views about the penalty of poverty. Data are from a unique, national survey of county governments measuring activity across two time points. The most consistent determinants of activity are local government capacity, devolutionary pressures, and inertia or past use of strategies. Net of these factors, levels and changes in poverty do not significantly impact government activity. There is no evidence the nations' poorest counties are racing to the bottom. Findings challenge views that poverty is a systematic structural barrier to pursuing innovative economic development policies and suggest that even poorer communities can take steps to build local capacity, resources, and networks that expand programs for local businesses and low-wage people. [source]

Mapping capacity in the health sector: a conceptual framework

Anne K. LaFond
Abstract Capacity improvement has become central to strategies used to develop health systems in low-income countries. Experience suggests that achieving better health outcomes requires both increased investment (i.e. financial resources) and adequate local capacity to use resources effectively. International donors and non-governmental agencies, as well as ministries of health, are therefore increasingly relying on capacity building to enhance overall performance in the health sector. Despite the growing interest in capacity improvement, there has been little consensus among practitioners and academics on definitions of ,capacity building' and how to evaluate it. This paper aims to review current knowledge and experiences from ongoing efforts to monitor and evaluate capacity building interventions in the health sector in developing countries. It draws on a wide range of sources to develop (1) a definition of capacity building and (2) a conceptual framework for mapping capacity and measuring the effects of capacity building interventions. Mapping is the initial step in the design of capacity building interventions and provides a framework for monitoring and evaluating their effectiveness. Capacity mapping is useful to planners because it makes explicit the assumptions underlying the relationship between capacity and health system performance and provides a framework for testing those assumptions. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Landmines and Local Community Adaptation

Aldo A. Benini
Despite international mobilization for greater humanitarian mine action and despite considerable clearance achievements, the majority of mine-affected communities have not yet been involved in formal clearance activities. They adapt to the contamination largely by local means. The differing degree to which local adaptation is successful is now better understood as a result of the Global Landmine Survey, a multi-country survey project launched in the wake of the 1997 Ottawa treaty to ban anti-personnel mines. Socio-economic impact surveys have since been completed in several countries. In addition to landmines, the Global Landmine Survey records impacts also from unexploded ordnance (UXO). The ability to avoid mine incidents is used to measure adaptation success. We use a variant of Poisson regression models in order to identify community and contamination correlates of the number of recent landmine victims. We estimate separate models using data from the Yemen, Chad and Thailand surveys. We interpret them in a common framework that includes variables from three domains: Pressure on resources, intensity of past conflict and communities' institutional endowments. Statistically significant associations occur in all three domains and in all the three countries studied. Physical correlates are the most strongly associated, pointing to a lasting deadly legacy of violent conflict, but also significant learning effects over time are present. Despite different measurements of institutional endowments, in each country one factor signifying greater local development is correlated with reductions in victims, whereas factors commonly associated with the presence of government officials do not contribute to local capacity to diminish the landmine problem. Strong spatial effects are manifest in clusters of communities with recent victims. Two policy consequences emerge. Firstly, given humanitarian funding limits, trade-offs between clearing contaminated land and creating alternative employment away from that land need to be studied more deeply; the Global Landmine Survey will need to reach out to other bodies of knowledge in development. Secondly, communities with similar contamination types and levels often form local clusters that are smaller than the administrative districts of the government and encourage tailored planning approaches for mine action. These call for novel coalitions that bring advocacy and grassroots NGOs together with local governments, agricultural and forestry departments and professional mine clearance and awareness education agencies. [source]

Nodal Governance, Democracy, and the New ,Denizens'

Clifford Shearing
We begin this paper by reviewing some recent transformations in governance. We then propose three new concepts that we believe assist us in coming to terms with these transformations and the political statuses that have emerged as part of them. These concepts are ,nodal governance', ,denizens', and ,communal space'. Following this we will explore the normative implications of nodal governance as it has taken shape to date, with an emphasis on the ,governance disparity' that is paralleling the ,wealth disparity' across the globe. In response to this disparity, we will end with an outline of a normative vision and practical programme aimed at deepening democracy in poor areas of South Africa, Argentina, and elsewhere. We will argue that the main virtue of nodal governance, namely, the emphasis on local capacity and knowledge can be retrieved, reaffirmed, and reinstitutionalized in ways that enhance the self-direction of poor communities while strengthening their ,collective capital'. [source]

Strengthening democratic governance of the security sector in conflict-affected countries,

Nicole Ball
Security for people, communities and states is essential for sustainable development, democratisation and conflict mitigation. Politicised, badly managed or ineffective security bodies and justice systems often create instability and insecurity, largely due to the lack of effective democratic systems. Strengthening democratic security-sector governance after conflict presents enormous challenges, particularly: (1) developing and implementing a legal framework consistent with international law and democratic practice; (2) developing effective, well-functioning civil management and oversight bodies; (3) developing viable, accountable and affordable security forces; (4) ensuring that the institutional culture of the security forces supports the legal framework, international law, good democratic practice and civil management and oversight bodies. Addressing these challenges requires professional security forces, capable civil authorities, rule of law and regional approaches. Reform activities should be guided by local ownership, sensitivity to the politics of reform, local capacity, local context and a comprehensive sector-wide framework. Local stakeholders must make hard decisions about priorities on the availability of domestic resources available and the costs and benefits of accepting external assistance. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Transformative Knowledge Transfer Through Empowering and Paying Community Researchers

BIOTROPICA, Issue 5 2009
Stephen T. Garnett
ABSTRACT Environmental research is often conducted independently of the community in which the environment is situated, with transfer of results into policy and on-ground action occurring independently of the community's interests or aspirations. Increasingly the need for greater community involvement in the research process has been recognized. For community members, however, such engagement usually involves trade-offs. While it is often assumed that community members should participate voluntarily because they will gain from the research, any benefits from knowledge, understanding and a capacity to influence the research have to be offset against time and potential loss of unremunerated intellectual property. We argue, using case studies from tropical Australia and Africa, that a more effective means of engagement and knowledge transfer is training and remuneration of community members as coresearchers. This engagement is much more than payment for labor,it is investment in local intellectual property and requires researcher humility, power-sharing and recognition that access to research funding provides no moral or intellectual authority. Further, we argue that, for effective adoption of research results, community members need to be part of negotiated agreements on the initial nature of the research to ensure it answers questions of genuine local relevance and that local researchers have the capacity to place locally conducted research into a wider context. We argue that immediate rewards for involvement not only secure engagement but, where appropriate, are likely to lead to effective implementation of research results, enhanced local capacity and greater equity in intellectual power-sharing. [source]