It is widely accepted that capacity development is central to development administration, but many of these initiatives have failed to demonstrate effectiveness in improving government effectiveness. This article argues that capacity development should be built upon possessing the policy capacity to perform the analytical, operational and political functions necessary to make it effective. Drawing on the case of capacity development in the basic education sector through a teacher survey, not only does the study reveal an extensive system of capacity development practices in India (Delhi) and China (Beijing), it also shows that variations on different dimensions of policy capacity have led to significant differences in the effectiveness of such arrangements as perceived by teachers. Therefore, without understanding and catering to the needs of the targets whose capacity is supposedly being built, capacity development initiatives meant to be supportive are likely to be dissatisfying and disappointing instead.
About the Speaker
Dr. Yifei Yan is currently a LSE Fellow in Social Policy and has completed her PhD in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. Specializing in comparative public policy and administration, her research interests are at the intersection of policy and governance, education and development, and China and India. These themes are woven together in her doctoral dissertation that surveys teachers about the governance of government middle schools in Beijing and Delhi, which is the recipient of the 2019 Best PhD Dissertation Award from Indian Public Policy Network (IPPN). Her research works are published in journals such as the Chinese Journal of International Politics, Policy Design and Practice, Asian Education Review etc.
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