The most common demand-driven technical assistance (TA) mechanism discussed in the literature is the Capacity Building Grant (CBG) or Capacity Building Fund (CBF) – a form of discretionary budget support which gives local authorities the flexibility to determine, finance, and manage training and technical assistance according to their needs. This assistance has thus far usually been conditional on local governments meeting certain performance benchmarks. Whilst some argue that this system promotes a coherent institutional development strategy and provides strong incentives for local governments to build up capacity, others criticise it for preventing genuine comprehensive training and assistance needs assessments.
Given that demand–driven TA is still a new area, there are a number issues to consider:
- Supply-driven aspects are still necessary for quality control.
- Local governments need to increase their level of coordination in capacity building planning and management.
- Private service providers need to be engaged.
- More innovative methods are needed to reach the lowest level of administration and remote areas (e.g. district resource pool teams)
Another capacity building mechanism, which is cited less frequently in the literature, is cross-border local government/community twinning initiatives. This report includes literature on a selection of such initiatives.