We seek to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations so that they develop the skills they need to conduct budget analysis, monitoring, and advocacy work that has a measurable and positive impact on the lives of people in their countries and communities, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
Our capacity building is based on two key principles: 1) active citizenship, in which citizens (our civil society partners) are change agents and 2) a participatory, adult education approach that respects our partners as change agents.
- Active citizenship involves the development of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to engage in public decision-making processes, as well as a keen understanding of specific socioeconomic and political contexts, and the ability to think strategically about how to negotiate within those contexts to bring about change. With these capacities, citizens become change agents who are empowered to make decisions and take action to improve the lives of others. Recognizing our partners as change agents, IBP aims to develop the capacities that they already have – or those that they may still need – in order to strengthen their impact on budget policies, processes, and outcomes in their countries.
- A participatory, adult learning approach acknowledges the experience that our partners bring to capacity building activities. They see the connections between their knowledge, skills, and experience, and the goals they want to achieve. As adult learners, our partners come to the learning space with a problem that they want to solve, and through the capacity building activity, they engage with their peers, facilitators, and/or technical assistants to solve the problem. This allows participants to use what they are already working on in order to learn and apply new skills in a participatory manner.
Our approach to building capacity acknowledges that our partners are change agents working to open budgets, budget systems, and budget processes; to improve development outcomes and service delivery; and to bring about social and economic justice. It supports partners to engage intensively at different stages of the budget process to achieve the changes they want to see in their countries and communities. IBP also strives to build the capacities of staff members of partner organizations in a way that has an impact on their overall organizations, so that the organizations are highly skilled, sustainable, and effective at achieving impact through their budget advocacy work.
IBP has determined that there are three key ways through which we contribute to building partners’ capacity to carry out budget advocacy work that achieves impact:
- Through learning activities tailored to the particular context, needs, and goals of a partner organization, which include strategic accompaniment, technical assistance, and different types of organizational learning exchanges. These activities provide the staff of partner organizations with more personalized, hands-on learning opportunities through which they can engage individually with strategic advisers, technical assistants, and their peers.
- Through training workshops and resource materials, which include country-specific trainings, core training workshops (e.g., Budget Analysis and Advocacy, Monitoring Budget Implementation, and Health & Budgets), advocacy workshops, methodology guides, online tools and resources, and other learning materials.
- Through building the capacities of the capacity builders: this includes IBP program officers, trainers, strategic advisers, technical assistants, and external resource persons involved in providing capacity building services to partners, including the staff of partner organizations who are building the capacities of their partners.