Caterina Cortese

From policies to institutions and back: local patterns of institutional capacity building

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: policy instruments, institutional change, capacity building, local governance, institutional innovation.

This paper aims to offer an evaluation approach for the institutional innovation as an institutional capacity building (ICB). Starting from an analysis of transformations pervading both policy change and institutional change, the paper analyses the impacts that certain policy instruments generate in improving the activity of local governments. Can the use of policy instruments relevant to a range of complex projects (strategic plans, development local programs) generate institutional innovation? Several experiences gained through case studies show it can. If the policies are not only rhetorical, if local governments manage to incorporate the necessary resources (leadership, trust, collaboration) and if they activate «learning by doing» paths, then policies can lead to the institutional capacity building. The paper concludes with the observation that, in an ideal loop, from the enforcing of the institutions the construction of democratic local governance is promoted which in turn reopens the loop with a positive influence on the formation process of new action networks and better policies.

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