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Political Conflict and Entangled Social Logics in the Development of Institutional Capacity: Creating a Designated National Authority for the Clean Development Mechanism in Uganda

Listed author(s):
  • Karen Holm Olsen


    (Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde, Denmark.)

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    Institutional capacity development is commonly conceptualised in an instrumental way; the concern is how to implement policy and realise project designs by aligning institutional realities with policy prescriptions. When assessed against project aims, capacity development interventions are often partially successful and sometimes unsuccessful. Inspired by an actor-oriented approach to understanding the processes and outcomes of institutional capacity development, this article argues that the real logics of actors are not in line with the formal ideas and assumptions of the project. This argument is based on a case study of a project to develop capacity for the Clean Development Mechanism in Uganda implemented over 4 years in the mid-2000s. This article concludes that the politics of processes of institutional change are largely ignored in an instrumental approach, and, contrary to project expectations, the inputs of intervention are appropriated by actors in ways that run counter to the projects' objectives and methods.Le développement des capacités institutionnelles est généralement conceptualisé de manière instrumentale; L’enjeu est de déterminer comment mettre en place des politiques et élaborer des projets en adaptant les réalités institutionnelles aux prescriptions politiques. Quand on évalue les mesures mises en œuvre pour développer les capacités, on constate qu’elles sont souvent partiellement couronnées de succès et qu’elles se soldent parfois par des échecs, au regard des objectifs des projets. Inspiré d’une approche axée sur les acteurs pour comprendre les processus et résultats du développement des capacités institutionnelles, cet article cherche à montrer que les logiques réelles des acteurs ne correspondent pas aux idées et hypothèses des projets qui sont énoncées. Cet argumentaire s’appuie sur une étude d’un projet de développement des capacités pour le Mécanisme de Développement Propre mis en place en Ouganda sur une période de quatre ans au milieu de la décennie 2000. L’article conclut que la politique de processus de changement institutionnel est très peu prise en compte par une approche instrumentale et que les acteurs se sont appropriés les apports des mesures prises d’une manière qui va à l’encontre des objectifs et méthodes des projets.

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    Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan & European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) in its journal European Journal of Development Research.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (September)
    Pages: 589-605

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    Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:24:y:2012:i:4:p:589-605
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