Research Seminar

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  • DATE / TIME:
    September 2, 2016    10:00 - 12:00

    The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) respectfully invites the general public to a seminar. The seminar aims at sharing research findings with stakeholders.

    Date:  2nd September,  2016

    Time: 10-12pm

    Venue: UNU-INRA Office, 2nd Floor, International House, University of Ghana campus, Legon, Accra

    Details of the Seminar

    Community-Level Capacity Assessment for Sustainable Development in Rural Africa : Proposed Assessment Tools and Preliminary Findings from Ghana and Malawi, by Yasuko Kusakari

    Despite the large amount of funding and various development interventions over the past decades, extreme poverty, one of the key challenges in Africa, has not been abated significantly. To tackle multi-dimensional challenges in rural Africa, past development programs led by central governments or external organizations alone have clearly shown their limitations. Consequently, local capacity development deserves more attention than ever as a means of reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development. However, despite frequent reference to the term “capacity”, its meaning, critical aspects of capacity and how those should be measured often remain vague. Furthermore, while there are some tools that could be used at organizational or institutional level, there is no framework or practical tools for assessing local capacity, particularly at the community level in the context of rural Africa. Undertaking a critical assessment is therefore indispensable to examine roles of local capacity and explore effective and efficient approaches to capacity development for ensuring sustainable development outcomes in the long term in rural Africa.

    In this regard, a field research was conducted mainly through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and individual interviews in 6 rural communities in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region of Ghana and Mulanje District in the Southern Region of Malawi respectively, totaling 12 communities. The assessment examined three core functional capacities of development leaders in the communities, i.e., a) Mutual Accountability; b) Engagement; and c) Leadership & Ownership; and two selected technical capacities of the communities, i.e., d) Asset Management and e) Disaster Management. The assessment also analyzed 16 key development sectors, which are closely linked with sustainability of development outcomes in the context of rural Africa, for comparing with levels and qualities of capacities.

    The seminar presentation will highlight key preliminary findings from the study and present proposed capacity assessment tools.

    About the Speaker

    Yasuko Kusakari is a former Research Fellow/ Socio-economist of UNU-INRA (2009-2014). She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Program in Sustainability Science – Global Leadership Initiative (GPSS-GLI), The University of Tokyo, and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Research Fellow. Prior to her Ph.D. study, she has been working in various countries mainly in Africa in the areas of rural development and local capacity development as a practitioner, a trainer and a researcher.

  • Praise Nutakor

    Communication and Public Relations Associate, UNU-INRA