Policy Advising and Capacity Building
The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC) invited CGSD, in partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Development Practice (ISDP) at the Columbia University Middle East Research Center (CUMERC) in Amman to partner on a variety of policy advising and capacity building programs.
Since 2011, we have provided background analysis and policy advisory for the Kingdom’s National Poverty Reduction Strategy. CGSD and CUMERC together designed and facilitated a capacity-building program for 400 development professionals and government leaders, equipping them to approach regional development challenges in an integrated and holistic way.
Policy Advising to Support the National Poverty Reduction Strategy
Jordan’s poverty rate is 13.3%, with a similarly high unemployment rate. And yet the country has operated without a cohesive vision for poverty alleviation since 2002. The new Poverty Reduction Strategy is set to target the root causes and outline a medium to long-term plan for sustained improvement.
In December 2011, CGSD presented a report to the government to help inform the country’s National Poverty Reduction Strategy. The report was based on a rigorous quantitative analysis and qualitative research, including nearly thirty focus groups in impoverished communities around the country and discussions with stakeholders and implementing partners across government agencies, NGOs and international organizations. It included a series of policy and program recommendations designed to address the gaps in government service provision to the poorest members of society, specifically around education, access to employment, CGSD’s work engaged many stakeholders, including the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, local NGOs, and other multilateral organizations.
One of our core recommendations was an integrated outreach program that would address the “last mile” implementation challenges of government programs and policies by providing household-level, tailored support through a network of community workers. This effort has been prioritized by the ministries. The Columbia University School of Social Work has been working in Jordan for a number of years through its Jordan Social Work Education for Excellence Program program, and CGSD is planning to partner with our colleagues at the School of Social Work to train the next generation of community workers in order to meet the government’s goals towards poverty reduction.
A New Approach to Training Development Practitioners in Jordan
CGSD has worked with the Institute of Sustainable Development Practice at the Columbia University Middle East Research Center (CUMERC) in Amman to design and conduct a series of courses to equip policymakers and development practitioners in the region with the specific skills and multi-disciplinary knowledge needed to effectively tackled the complex issues of sustainable development. The program offers both two-week, intensive, core courses in Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development, and one week specialized courses to allow a deep dive into specific relevant topics, from program management to climate adaptation to monitoring and evaluation.
To date, multiple rounds of these trainings have been conducted in Jordan since the Institute was formally launched in December 2010. In total, over 400 participants from 30 different organizations have taken part in the training program. As Jordan seeks to position itself as a leader in sustainable development in the Middle East and North Africa regions, these trainings support that goal by allowing the country to build a base of knowledgeable, savvy practitioners who are equipped to tackle the complexities of the work.
Policy Task Forces
Following the training program, many ISDP participants organized themselves to tackle topics of common interest within their professions. Together as a task force they work through these challenges and present their ideas to levels of government that previously would have been out of reach if had they each been working independently.
For more information on the topics covered by these task forces as well as their specific goals and membership visit our Jordan Policy Task Forces page.
For more information, please contact André Correa D’Almeida.