FAO Capacity Development

Capacity Assessments – Ultra-light Checklist for FAO CPF / UNDAF / Joint programmes

Where are we now?

Where do we want to be?

What is the purpose of your assessment? Are you involved in the FAO CPF process? Are you involved in the UNDAF formulation? Are you involved in a joint–programme with other agencies?

The following questions need to be considered to gain an initial understanding of capacity-development assets and needs at country/ regional /local levels. They can be useful during the CPF or the UNDAF formulation. Part of this information may already be available through existing reports where analysts have documented the main FSARD and capacity issues. However, the advantage of this checklist is that it offers a structured way to engage in dialogue with national counterparts or other agencies using existing information and channelling the discussion across the three dimensions of CD to assess where they are and where they expect to be in the medium term.

Dimension: Enabling environment

1.  What policies and national strategies exist? Do these policies and strategies define national objectives and priorities adequately?

2.  Is the country a signatory to major international declarations, initiatives and codes?

3.  To what extent are such political commitments (at the international level) actively implemented?

4.  In the existing policies, what are the performance improvements that are needed?

5.  What are the known capacity weaknesses at the policy level?

6.  Are there national sources of funding to support this area of work?

Dimension: Organizations (i.e. formal, informal, public and private, including CBOs and CSOs)

7.  Which Ministries and institutions work on this issue? Which ministries/departments (central and local level) are involved in the development, administration, implementation and enforcement of legislation and regulations?

8. Do the different ministries/departments and institutions involved in the sector have adequate technical capacity? Are the technical capacities of civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector adequate?

9.  What are the strengths and weaknesses at the institutional level?

10. Is institutional knowledge at a sufficient level? Is there adequate practical experience in the sector?

11. Is institutional knowledge up-to-date with the latest approaches in this area?

12. Does the relevant Ministry/department have a training programme to improve staff skills at various levels?

13. Over the last 12 months, to what extent have ministries /departments and other institutions (NGOs and CSOs) experienced turnover of competent staff? Which factors contributed to the turnover (e.g. recruitment, promotion, staffing, supervision, personnel evaluation, salary structures)?

14. Are there mechanisms for ensuring coordination, information exchange and effective policy implementation? What are the strengths and weaknesses of such mechanisms?

Dimension: Individuals

15. What skills are needed in this sector? What skills are commonly found in this sector?

16. Are there clear requirements for skill levels for individuals?

17. Are there learning opportunities to prepare individuals to respond to country needs at a technical level?

18. Is there adequate practical experience in the sector?

19. Are individuals up-to-date with the latest approaches in the sector?

20. Are individuals familiar with relevant equipment?

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