Capacity Development in the programme approach, 15th & 16th September 2008

"Cut out the dead wood", "work with the most passionate partners!", " Keep up our professional approach"! These were some of the observations which were shared by ICCO development professionals who are involved in the ProCoDe process of ICCO. The meeting, facilitated by Simon Koolwijk, was held on the 15th & 16th Septemer 2008 at the Conference Centre Wageningse Berg in Wageningen.
Pro stands for expanding the programme approach, where ICCO partners are being involved in building programme coalitions in their target countries on specific development themes such as improving basic services, creating economic opportunities for the poor and building mechanisms for peace and democracy in war affected countries. Aim is to expand the impact of programmes through funding and supporting a mix of local development projects and lobby & advocacy and exchange mechanisms which can lead to political and policy change at national level.

Co stand for co-responsibility, where people with a non-vested interest, reputation and knowledge from the local area, formulate the long term policies at the regional level. This is done through Regional Councils, who are independent from the ICCO-partners.

De is the decentralization process. ICCO is planning to open up 11 regional offices up to 2011 around the world. Main aim to build up a closer relationship with the project partners.

During the meeting 18 field staff from 4 continents (Africa, Asia, Euro-Asia and Latin-America) and 7 Head Quarter staff shared their views and experiences on how capacity development can be ensured in the programme approach. How do we build the capacities of our partners working in coalitions? On what areas do we focus our support when we talk about building and empowering societies? These were some of the issues which were shared.

At the end of the meeting field staff expressed they felt they had had a great opportunity to share and gain from exchange. They see and feel motivated to continue knowledge sharing with their colleagues. On the whole, the two days were too short to deepen out all the difficult issues in building programme coalitions. However, the field and head quarter staff will continue their exchange through electronic exchange. One of the action steps is to initiate a learning community.


Simon Koolwijk


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