BTC funds (governance) projects worldwide. MDF Training & Consultancy is part of a consortium with a framework contract from BTC to review their governance projects. In this particular case BTC is funding the National Capacity Building Secretariat (NCBS) of Rwanda, an umbrella organisation facilitating mostly government organisations in capacity building, including procurement capacity.
The BTC project "Strategic Approach to Capacity Building” aims to enhance the capacities of the National Capacity Building Secretariat (NCBS) to effectively coordinate capacity building, particularly in the areas of energy, health and decentralization.
This Mid Term Review had to assess the progress of the project and particularly its relevance. Specific questions focused on key ingredients of a capacity development project: do parties have the same understanding on what is meant by Capacity Development and Change Management; how to have impact as a (small) project in a highly dynamic political context; is the project modality appropriate, and what type of expert support is needed and requested. The question as to how monitoring tools help implementation and progress tracking was also included.
The context in which the mid term review took place was characterised by great support and easy access to management, staff and documents. Capacity development is at the core of Rwandan policy and NCBS has a crucial role to play. This makes the Strategic Approach to Capacity Building project a very challenging one.
The method used for this MTR was to prepare questionnaires before holding interviews. As this MTR had a sensitive element because of high ambitions, recent changes (departure of change co-manager) and non-shared perceptions, additional personal dialogues were held either bilaterally or in small groups.
The MDF Training & Consultancy team consisted of an experienced evaluator and a local consultant specialised in capacity development. The two worked in an effective complementary manner combining European and Rwandan approaches and styles.
The Strategic Approach to Capacity Building project is particularly relevant in contributing to the enormous challenge of developing the capacities in all sectors in Rwanda, and the NCBS plays a pivotal role in the capacity development of individuals, organisations and sectors. The intended linkages with capacity development in the areas of energy, decentralisation and health allows for tangible results on the ground.
However, the results of the project are still very modest given the available resources and funds. The expected outputs are far from being reached. Activities undertaken relate to strengthening the internal organisation but have not yet led to tangible outputs. The linkages with capacity development at the level of the three areas have hardly started. Also the support in creating an NCBS capable of steering and influencing capacity development in a fast changing context is hardly visible.
These factors have influenced why progress at the end of 2015, and after 20 months since start of operations, is still modest. Reasons have been examined and shared with the clients in order to find consensus and work towards practical solutions.