After World War II, international development became the world leading development model, but its effectiveness is much debated. Nowadays, it is acknowledged that international development can effectively support development through knowledge and capacity development (KCD). Nonetheless, understanding what capacity really consists of in operational terms and what its development entails remains a challenge.
This book investigates KCD processes in water utilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The three cases analysed reveal that the learning impact of KCD on utilities depends on whether they are able to close their learning cycle, i.e., to ensure that improved capacity is also translated into mainstream behaviour. This finding challenges conventional wisdom for which KCD translates "automatically" into improved performance. Hence the need to focus KCD evaluation on both capacity improvement and capacity application.
The proposed learning-based framework for KCD identifies two distinct but interrelated stages in KCD, namely knowledge transfer and knowledge absorption. Knowledge absorption usually takes time due to slow organisational processes that govern it. However, in practice it is often taken for granted. The framework also identifies the key factors that shape learning processes in water utilities.
The book argues that water utilities in Sub-Saharan Africa can reinvent themselves by embracing change management approaches and striving to become learning organisations.
Knowledge and capacity bottlenecks in the water supply sector
Theoretical framework for analyzing learning processes in organisations
Research strategy and methodology
A methodology to assess the impact of KCD interventions in water utilities
Three case studies
Emerging learning-based framework for analyzing KCD
Conclusions and recommendations
IHE Delft PhD programme leads to a deepening of a field of specialisation. PhD fellows do scientific research, often with conclusions that directly influence their region. At IHE Delft, PhD researchers from around the world participate in problem-focused and solution-oriented research on development issues, resulting in an inspiring research environment. PhD fellows work together with other researchers from many countries dealing with topics related to water and the environment.
PhD research is often carried out in the ‘sandwich’ model. Preparation and final reporting – the first and last portion of the programme – are carried out in Delft, while actual research is done in the fellow’s home country, under co-supervision of a local institute. Regular contacts with the promotor are maintained through visits and long-distance communication. This enables researchers to employ solutions directly to problems in their geographical region.
IHE Delft PhD degrees are awarded jointly with a university. The degrees are highly valued and fully recognised in all parts of the world.