Announcement for the Call for Papers for a Conference on Transforming Capacity for African Development

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) through its capacity development department, the African Development Institute (EADI), and in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) envisages, plan to host a high level conference on “Transforming Capacity for African Development” in the fourth quarter of 2014. The aim of this conference is to take stock of issues, frameworks, methods, and lessons for transforming capacity as a key input to achieving sustainable African development. The conference contributions will also highlight best practices and identify knowledge and action gaps in developing capacities for achieving sustainable development in Africa. Addressing these capacity limitations requires looking into various areas including: agriculture and food security, infrastructure development, regional integration, private sector development, skills, technology and job creation, gender and inclusive growth, fragility and socio-economic vulnerability, climate change, environmental sustainability and green growth, governance and accountability, and migration and human security. In the context of the above areas, the conference themes will be arranged in the following six thematic areas:

  • Theme 1: Conceptual issues and introduction to capacity development, including the key actors, history, and frameworks commonly used for sustainable development in African countries.
  • Theme 2: Available evidence on strengthening technological, resource management, and value-chain capacities and their contribution to sustainable development.
  • Theme 3:  Institutional and organizational capacity for transforming African economies. The authors and discussants will bring out the lessons learned from past and current approaches to institutional and organizational capacity development.
  • Theme 4:  Strengthening policy capacity at various levels.
  • Theme 5: Monitoring and evaluation issues in capacity development and identifying challenges and lessons in measuring, mapping, and monitoring capacity strengthening interventions.
  • The final theme area will capture the way forward for the next 10 years: pulling together ten leading views from policymakers and practitioners.

Each paper should attempt to explicitly define the concepts, contextualize the issues, review the extant literature on the subject, critically interrogate the key issues, and provide empirical evidence in support of all arguments and conclusions. It is important that authors make use of African case studies from different parts of the continent to cover the variety of existing scenarios and to support their conclusions and policy recommendations. Papers are to be written either in English or French. The final paper should be 8,000 - 10,000 words (max) in length, excluding figures, plates, and references.

This call is open to development practitioners and/or researchers/academics, with an advanced academic degree and/or working experience in the social sciences, resources management, agriculture, public policy, development statistics, economics, agricultural economics, development studies or a related field. Submissions from policy think-tanks working on capacity development are also to be considered.

It is expected that this conference will provide an avenue for the interaction and creation of a network of practitioners in the field of capacity development. It will also serve as a tool for policy dialogue on pertinent issues relating to capacity development while also serving as a knowledge sharing and management platform by consolidating all contributions made into a book. This will be based on papers presented in this conference.

To apply, please submit a CV (listing publications) and a 2 – 3 page outline (1.5 spacing; 12 cpi font size) of your proposed paper. The submission should indicate which set or theme one intends to contribute to (Theme 1 – 6). All submissions to be send to Mr Nkoanyane Sebutsoe ( in copy to Mr George Kararach ( and Dr Suresh Babu ( latest by 2nd May, 2014. Your communication should explicitly make reference to the TCAD 2014 Call for Papers and state clearly which set of theme (Themes 1 – 6) the submission is for. Only successful applicants will be contacted.

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