Troubling partnerships: Perspectives from the receiving end of capacity development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this paper is to complement the overwhelming focus on external partners in existing studies of capacity development for disaster risk reduction (DRR) or climate change adaptation (CCA), by exploring the perspectives of internal partners on challenges and possible solutions. 27 qualitative semi-structured interviews with experts, program officers and managers in five countries in the Southern African Development Community region were conducted. Three requisite and interdependent types of capacities—technical, processual, and contextual—in order to develop sustainability are suggested from the result. A typology of seven failures for partners to avoid when designing and implementing capacity development projects for DRR or CCA in the future are presented. The more of these failures occur, the less effective and sustainable capacity development becomes. For capacity development to be sustainable, more credit to internal partners, explicit opportunities for mutual learning and adaptive roles of external partners spanning from expert to coach need to be considered.


External organisations
  • North-West University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Original languageEnglish
Article number102231
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 1
Publication categoryResearch