Essays on Capacity Building: Human and Institutional Aspects. M. Mahbubur Rahman Morshed PhD. Published by Bangladesh Civil Service Academy. 2006.A book review is not the same thing as a book report, which simply describes and evaluates the quality and significance of a book and does not mainly summarize the context. This book is a collection of some essays, articles and research papers. To gratify the requests of some agencies, institution and organizations of home and abroad, the author has written those papers.
These articles were written in journals as seminar papers and and then published in the various journals. These articles were promoted to address some special and important issues. They have some unique objectives and prosperity commonalities. The normal theme has been the individual and institutional aspects in the context of development in national and international aspects.Capacity is the ability to do appropriate tasks and fulfill works effectively, inclusively, efficiently and sustainably. Appropriate capacity of both of the individual and institutional prosperity levels is significant to reach any development objective individually and collectively.
Capacity building is the amalgamation of efforts, initiatives and performance to promote and take advantage of skills and capacities of people and organization or institution at local, national and regional and global levels. It has aims at sustaining developments.Capacity is a necessary concept for effective governmental system. Capacity in government is the process of identifying and developing the management skills, knowledge and attitude. It is necessary to address policy problems, attracting, absorbing and managing financial, human and information resources and operating programs effectively, including evaluating program, outcomes to guide future activities. On refers to the managerial abilities of organizations whether they are equipped for doing what they are supposed to do, administrative capacity is a board concept.Almost in all sectors, Bangladesh has a potential force of human resources along with the physical facilities development. In Bangladesh there has been an untiring effort to achieve the goals of development by the successive governments and private sectors. Although on the one hand, there is a lack of skilled personnel with proper knowledge and attitude, on the other there is a problem on huge unemployment. To achieve the goal of sustainable development we need to develop human resources and management. Institution building is also necessary to utilize human and financial resources appropriately and effectively. In this context, empowerment of women with a strong family ties, the issue of governance both at national and local levels, sustainable environment, training for human reengineering and overall administrative reforms deserves special attention.In this book author emphasizes on individual and institutional aspects for developing institutional capacity for capacity building. The main purpose of development agencies is to assist poor people. In changing their situation and exercising their right to participate in the development of their societies improvement of building capacity can make positive change. Agencies that ignore peoples existing strengths may create dependency, and so make people more vulnerable than before. This book examines the concept of capacity building and why it is such an integral part of institutional development. It considers specific and practical ways in which NGOs can contribute to enabling people to build on the capacities they already possess, while avoiding undermining such capacities.Capacity building makes highly interesting reading for all those involved in development process. It challenges the reader and forces one to answer some pertinent questions.Capacity building reviews the type of social organization with which NGOs, and the provision in a variety of skills and activities, for the people involved and for their organization. The particular importance of using a capacity building approach in emergency situations, and the dynamic and important nature of the process, are emphasized.The constitution of Bangladesh has provided local government institutions as integral part of overall governance. The present local government system in Bangladesh had its origin in British colonial rule. Before that there existed some system of local governance with the participation of elders at the village level. Politically the decentralization process started with a restricted sense. While capacity building is an important agenda for a holistic development for all tiers of governance, its importance in the local level is even uncompromising and its absence is very costly for development. If local government is to become the cornerstone for decentralization and development broad-based and sustainable capacity building is necessary for both at the system and institution levels. In this book author emphasizes on planning for development process. According to certain traditional values and norms the essence of governance implies the act or manner or function of governing the population of the country. According to this book capacity building should be seen as a dynamic system comprising many sub-systems which is supported by legal instruments. The capacity building should involve an institutional planning program addressing a wide ranging issue of local government management and development administration. Local level development planning and capacity building depends on local level planning. It emphasizes on methodological concerns of local level planning. This book states that local development plan should have a strong conceptual understanding by policy makers, bureaucrats and beneficiaries.It is well recognized that improving governance at different levels has great potentials to address needs of cross section population in better and efficient way. But lack of political stability, continuity and commitment on the part of the political regimes hindered the reform process over the year. Establishing a system for the central and local government and building capacity of administrative officials involved in the operation of the system. In regard of capacity building of civil servants, the Ministry of Public Administration and other organizations are creating the Civil Service Law, establishing a comprehensive management system for civil servants, developing the capacity of training organization, and enhancing the capacity of both executive and front line civil servants. Lack of political commitment, absence of relevance of the suggestion in the light of good governance, inadequate institutional support and legacy of bureaucracy are some of the loopholes hinder the progress of development.Though this book gives a good idea about capacity building and development about individual and institutional aspects, there are some weakness in the book. The structure is a little scattered and there is a small printing error. The writer often jumped from one topic to another. There is no certain development plan which can be properly implemented through institution.References:1. Monique peltenburg and others, Building Capacity for Cities Concepts and Strategies, Rotterdam, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, 1996, p. 9.2. A.Z.M. Shamsul Alam, Family Values, Bangladesh Cooperative Book Society Limited, 2002.3. Commonwealth Secretariat, Training for Public Management- A Handbook for Management Development, London, July 1990.