You are here

Institutional and Organization Strengthening

The training course is designed to be a practical, hands-on set of directions to those needing to answer the following questions: “how to go about doing institutional and organizational analysis? And once I’ve done it, how do I go about using this analysis to promote sustainable institutions and organizations?

This course is primarily aimed at those responsible for initiating, designing, managing and facilitating the process of institutional and organizational analysis and strengthening at the programme design and implementation levels. It may be useful to analysts, designers, implementers and evaluators of development programmes, from government as well as the private and civil society sectors.

More broadly, this course may be useful for anyone interested in practical tools and approaches to guide analysis and the design of interventions aimed at institutional and organizational strengthening and rural poverty reduction.

Institutional strengthening relates to the mental models we use to interpret our lives and the social and natural world in which we live. It is about the way in which we make events, relationships, natural phenomena and time meaningful. It encompasses elements such as our individual beliefs and values, the overall cultural values and beliefs within which we live, the social norms that define, restrict and explain our lives, frameworks of scientific understanding and research, and so on.

Organizational development involves the associations that people make with each other to work towards achieving social, economic and political objectives. These might be formally organized, such as governments, businesses, civil society or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). They also encompass the relationships, agreements and interactions between organizations, representing the informal aspect of association. This element includes most of the types of organizations that are typically the target of capacity-building or strengthening interventions under ICARDA‑supported projects.

The meaning-related aspects of institutional and organizational analysis have often been overlooked when designing development interventions. However, ICARDA’s experience – and that of other actors – has made it clear that this level matters. If actors try to promote changes that do not ‘make sense’, the likelihood is that the changes will either fail, or be implemented in a manner that was not anticipated.