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Institutional capacity development is commonly conceptualised in an instrumental way; the concern is how to implement policy and realise project designs by aligning institutional realities with policy prescriptions. When assessed against project aims, capacity development interventions are often partially successful and sometimes unsuccessful. Inspired by an actor-oriented approach to understanding the processes and outcomes of institutional capacity development, this article argues that the real logics of actors are not in line with the formal ideas and assumptions of the project. This argument is based on a case study of a project to develop capacity for the Clean Development Mechanism in Uganda implemented over 4 years in the mid-2000s. This article concludes that the politics of processes of institutional change are largely ignored in an instrumental approach, and, contrary to project expectations, the inputs of intervention are appropriated by actors in ways that run counter to the projects' objectives and methods.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)589
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ID: 23334938