International cooperation depends on the skills of local individuals, organizations and society in order to shape their own development sustainably and adapt to changing conditions. The process which shapes these skills is called capacity development. This is one of the key services that GIZ provides.
Capacity development works best if it is driven by individuals and happens on three levels: the individual level, the organizational level and the societal level. These levels are linked and cannot be separated.
THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL
Individual actors are the key factor when it comes to achieving change. They shape any organisation, political system, or institution they are part of. Human capacity development therefore focuses on these individuals and enables them to bring about change. The programme “Integrated Biodiversity Management, South Caucasus“ (IBiS) offers a wide variety of measures, including trainings and workshops, study tours or long distance learning.
THE ORGANISATIONAL LEVEL
Every organisation has specific structures, processes, rules and rituals. Capacity development tries to make sure these factors work well together, enabling the organisation to perform better and more efficiently than the sum of its parts. Because it is important that an organisation’s members can identify with capacity development measures, we include them when drafting the new measures.
THE SOCIETAL LEVEL
If individual actors and cooperation partners are interconnected, they can achieve benefits for the whole society that cannot be achieved if they act on their own. A society’s capacities can include policies, legislation, social norms and rituals. IBiS supports Armenia’s, Azerbaijan’s and Georgia’s respective ministries, parliaments and governments by providing policy, legal, strategic and institutional advice. We have assisted several ministries while they were developing sectoral regulations and crafting by-laws for the sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Trainings shape an individual’s capacity, but their society can also profit from it. That is why we offer trainings for technical and executive staff on the inter-sectoral and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT IN ACTION
IBiS has offered trainings on how to integrate ecosystem services into development planning not only on a national, but also on a regional level in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Additional activities in the context of capacity management include training on Geographic Information Systems for ministerial staff and topic related trainings for community representatives.
SHOWCASE: THE NATIONAL FOREST MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM OF ARMENIA
Forests cover about 11 percent of Armenia’s land area. For such a comparatively small proportion (in Germany, it is almost one third of the country), they are home to an abundance of biodiversity. This biodiversity is under threat for several reasons, like illegal logging, mining and poor forest management.
Armenia’s National Forest Management Information System (NFMIS) is the core element for managing the country’s forests and planning forestry activities. IBiS and its preceding GIZ programme have, previously in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and since lately the Ministry of Nature Protection, developed the IT-system. It will connect the ministry with forest enterprises and the State Forest Monitoring Centre. The IT-system provides a common database for all the different organisations to assure a good base for monitoring of the Armenian forests and provide information for decision makers in the state bodies. Thanks to the NFMIS, information can be exchanged faster and more efficiently.
NFMIS is an example of organisational capacity development. But it also depends on the individuals who use it. That’s why IBiS is training a team of advanced NFMIS users. They can then work as internal trainers in the institutions who use the system and be advocates for its advantages.