HUMAN DEVELOPMENT & INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE


Institutional diversity in many developing countries is growing fast, where civil society is gaining influence on development processes. These changes induce pressing demands which cannot readily be met by the existing institutional frameworks in government and/or civil society. Hence, solutions to “the institutional question” are increasingly being acknowledged as a crucial condition for development in our present era. We have been focusing on consultancy, training, and research activities, supporting processes of institutional development or change, tailored to the specific sector, or the respective organisation. Conventional ideas about organizational engineering are being supplemented by broader notions on promoting learning, empowerment, and social capital.
The approach towards institutional development puts emphasis on effective and sustainable self management, individual creativity, principles of gender equity, local knowledge and participation of stakeholders. Support is given at different levels:
*individual: upgrading of knowledge and skills of professional staff, as well as in grass root level organisations;
*organizational: assisting in setting of clear goals and putting efficient organisation structures to work (NGOs, interest groups, civil service organisations);
*inter-organizational: generating synergy between organisations with a common goal (i.e.NGOs, credit associations, women based/community-based groups, small businesses; mutual social services);
*policy/sector environment: programme design and evaluation, creating enabling environments for stakeholders in institutional development processes. Institute has a self-managing team of senior advisors with professional backgrounds in development economics, institutional development, gender, who have extensive international experience. Specific consultancy, training and research expertise can be provided either by the unit itself or by other units of the Organization.
Advice for strengthening organizational performance:
We approach the organization’s environment, policy, structure, and human resources in an integrated way. The strengths and weaknesses along with the opportunities and threats of the organisation are firstly assessed with maximum involvement of relevant stakeholders. Then we assist in drawing up a joint action plan aiming at the development that makes the organisation better equipped to serve its goals. Sector policy advice: Institute has provided advisory services to sectors in which processes of decentralization and down-scaling affect the set-up of public administration structures.
Enhancing local capacity in consultancy and management support to setting up consultancy units in public funded institutions Translation of gender issues in practical concepts:Solutions are sought by either looking at redesigning existing structures or at the identifying and structuring new roles and responsibilities of other parties like NGOs - community based organisations, co-operative movements, and local bodies and interest groups. Institute has been concentrating on its activities in sectors like education, water supply, public health, credit and saving facilities.
Upgrading knowledge & skills:
The demand for support to strengthening local consultancy capabilities is increasing. For the delivery of consultancy services, local consultants are increasingly contracted. Often the quality of the rendered services does not meet international professional standards because of a lack of knowledge about the consultancy profession and related skills. Institute offers tailor-made training, based on a preliminary needs assessment, exposing participants to international consultancy practices.
Strengthening consultancy organisations: 
Staff members of many public funded institutions -universities, governmental research services, and vocational training institutions - are increasingly being invited for consultancy assignments. However, the organizational set-up for such activities is often not appropriate, i.e. no proper embedding in the organisation, no clear mission, lack of strategy, or an embryonic organisation structure. Institute has been supporting such institutions in setting up consultancy units within their main structure. Units have been assisted in developing action plans including backstopping activities for the various steps of the implementation of such plans.
Setting professional consultancy standards:
With the development of local consultancy capacity, the need for developing common professional standards that match international standards becomes increasingly important. Recently, (inter-)national professional consultancy associations have been established in countries where the profession is relatively new. Institute has been assisting organisations in their pursuing of establishing professional standards.Entrepreneurship & Managerial DevelopmentLatest industries like Information Technology, Bio-Technology, entertainment and Television provide a good opportunity before the young people to choose a career option but, it has been seen that because of presence of such a wide range of options they feel confused and frustrated in choosing the career. The liberalization has opened plethora of opportunities for the enterprising people. The biggest bottleneck in the process of removal of unemployment is the preference of jobs to self employment. The society in an attempt to encourage more and more youths to come forward towards for setting up their own ventures organized one day seminar at Delhi center. Over 30 Young men attended the seminar. The participants were guided regarding the various opportunities available in the field of business and commerce, engineering and technology, teaching and educational institutions and social service sectors. They were benefited a lot from this programme.
Besides Institute has given many courses during the last few years on the topics:
ICT Enabled Management,Basic Financial Management,Basic International Management.