Development agencies invest huge amounts in Capacity Development (CD). Even so, it seems to have become a catch-all concept incorporating almost any form of technical assistance, and is often presented as a rather neutral, value-free form of engagement.
Yet, although much has been written about CD, dissatisfaction remains with both the idea and its practice.In this context, a group of practitioners and researchers from different parts of the world came together with representatives of donor organisations in a workshop in Sussex (UK), in September 2007.
We aimed to share our concerns about the gap between what we know, and what we do, regarding the development of capacities of individuals, organisations, and more widely in society.
We wished also to explore more systemic, contextualised and purposeful approaches to CD. Although the entry point for these discussions was the capacity for the generation, dissemination anduse of knowledge, broader issues emerged for CD in general, and these are reflected in this paper.