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Results from our survey on Capacity Building

Together with Vanesa Weyrauch, we recently carried out a survey aimed at informing Politics & Ideas and its partners in the process of formulating a new long-term capacity development strategy. This strategy should enable us to focus our contribution to efforts by individuals and organisations to better link politics and research. As argued by Vanesa in her paper ‘Lessons learned‘, we believe that potential participants need to be part of the design of capacity building efforts to ensure their usefulness and relevance. This was the explicit rationale behind this survey.

The survey was delivered both in English and Spanish. The English version was open for entries between September 18th and September 30th 2013, and it was publicized through Politics & Ideas website and e-mail subscribers, in addition to other forums such as EBPDN. The Spanish version was live from September 24th to October 3rd 2013, and it was equally publicized via e-mail to a list of interested parties as well as through VIPPAL. There were 38 respondents in total, who were quite interestingly spread across different regions (except for Latin America, which having been catered a special version of the survey had 16 respondents): 7 respondents in Africa, 3 in South Asia, 3 in Eastern Europe, 2 in MENA, 2 in Western Europe and 1 in the United States.

These are some of the most interesting findings we encountered:

  • Most respondents participated in at least one CD activity in the past year (66%). A majority were also satisfied (60%), and almost all would consider participating in the future.
  • Criticism of current materials is mostly focused on their not being locally relevant and on being often too theoretical.
  • Preferred activities are peer assistance, joint projects and face to face workshops
  • There is no clear consensus on who are they best trainers in the field. However, there is a preference for practitioners, researchers and think tanks to provide those services over other types of organizations like consultancies or experts.
  • Suggestions for trainers to improve their work are focused on considering or involving policy makers, prioritizing practice over theory, and knowing and involving participants more actively.
  • Suggestions for future improvement include creating regional hubs and networks of specialists, improving access (broader reach at low cost) and formalizing training processes.

To see the full results, please click here.

If you did not get the chance to fill out the survey or want to comment further, feel free to do so!