Institutional building, Organizational, Strengthening, Governance and Civil Society

Near all the technical assistance programs that we have implemented on behalf of public bodies in various parts of the world have included an institutional strengthening component and the development of management and organisational aspects.
In general we may say that our experience of development challenges in countries faced with externally-induced and striking changes has brought us to develop a specific know-how on institutional strengthening, on change management tools, on consensus building and on participatory decision making, involving the various economic and social actors, and, in a word, on “organisation as development”.
Nevertheless one may consider that the international co-operation failures so far experienced are in no minor degree the result of having overlooked the institutional weakness, the difficulties and obstacles that societies and their social groups had to face to reorganise themselves and to manage the change and of having ignored the potential conflict of interests implicit in any change process. In an epoch of huge and quick transformations induced by technological innovations this accumulated know-how reveals itself as precious also in developed countries.
It is because of this experience that we have frequently been asked to advise on policies and strategies and to develop researches on democratisation processes, on civil society development and on conflict causes and conflict prevention. This experience has allowed us to be retained in 2000 by the EC for the framework contract “ Human Rights, Democratisation and Institutional Strengthening”.

In our practice a development plan is considered as a process rather than as a document or a blue- print. The salient feature is the space left to the social actors for which the planning exercise is undertaken. A top-down, rational and comprehensive planning carried out by an omniscient agency is thus replaced by an incremental mode of planning, characterised by flexibility, open to inputs from bottom-up and subject to feed back processes. We have learnt from experience how effective may be a participatory approach involving the various actors in all stages of the project cycle. For sure this process is time consuming, but success chances are definitely enhanced.




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