Our work in Institutional Development

Bridging the gaps between policies, institutions and services We seek to bridge the gaps between policies, the institutions which are responsible for implementing them, and the services which need to be delivered. This approach is applicable across a wide range of disciplines; from private sector development, to legal sector reform, to national HIV/AIDS strategies; where similar generic problems exist. Policies are typically developed by technical experts, without reference to the strengths and weaknesses of the institutions which will implement them. Opportunities for effective progress are missed, because policies do not play to existing institutional strengths; while unrealistic policy objectives are doomed to failure by inherent institutional weaknesses.

The institutional incentive structure, particularly in the public sector, is bureaucratic and risk averse, and needs to be careful assessed and then incrementally enhanced, to provide the enabling environment within which policies can succeed. We support this process by providing a combination of institutional assessment skills, human resource and systems development and financial planning; linked to an overall understanding of strategic development, policy and planning processes.

Policies and institutional structures are meaningless if they fail to deliver the services which people need. Institutions need to identify and focus on their clients, customers and users; and ensure that the policies which they implement result in practical, effective and sustainable service delivery. It is particularly important in developing countries to ensure equitable access to services for the poor and most vulnerable, and to ensure that their voice is heard in both the design and implementation processes. We work with communities, service providers and institutions in both the public and private sectors to help ensure that these key linkages are understood, strong and effective. Examples of our work include:

  • Assisting the Embassy of Denmark in Nairobi with the full process of programme formulation for the Public Sector Management (PSM) component of the Governance programme. The PSM component aims at increasing public sector efficiency at both national and county level, including managing public resources and capacity to implement government programs; it covers the three thematic areas of Public Financial Management, Devolution Process, and Monitoring and Evaluation (DANIDA, 2014-2015).
  • Conducting a political economy analysis of Kenya to inform and underpin the African Development Bank Group's new Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2014-2018 for Kenya. The analysis focused on the current situation in terms of post-election political economy, political governance and devolution in Kenya and made recommendations as to how the Bank could most efficiently and effectively provide support to the process of devolution under its new CSP 2014-2018 (African Development Bank, 2013).
  • Conducting an independent appraisal of the Kenya Governance Support Programme (KGSP) in accordance with Danida's Aid Management Guidelines. The appraisal also provided guidance on the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed institutional framework for programme implementation, and assessed whether recommendations provided by the Danida Programme Committee had been taken into consideration and the quality of the formulation process in general, including the analyses carried out (DANIDA, 2010).

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2014. The Law & Development Partnership

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