Institutional & Organisational development: support changes

Developing and implementing projects has an influence on existing organisations and structures.Therefore, to have a successful project these existing organisations and structures should be taken into account when developing and implementing your project.

A project is successful in case the goal of the project is reached not only on short term but on long term bases as wel, making it sustainable. Sustainability requires often not only involvement, but also improvement of the functioning of local institutions and organisations that can influence the success of your project. Not only the technical design of the project, but rather the organisational set-up, the managerial skills and the knowhow and skills of employees, the cooperation with existing institutions and organisations determine the success of the project.

Local institutions can be concrete institutions such as government, schools, inspection and certification etc., these have an organisation structure. An abstract institution refers to the formal rules (laws), informal rules, social standards, the market system etc. In other words “the (collective, accepted) rules of the game” by which a society or sector performs.

Organisational development/strengthening is an activity that is focussed on establishing new organisations or developing existing organisations to improve their performance. 

Whether you are investing in or exporting to a developing country, it will affect the existing institutions and organisations.  You introduce new technology and a new management approach, you need employees with advanced knowhow and skills to be successful. At that moment you deal and cooperate with local institutions from which you expect changes, for example suppliers of raw material, inputs, certifying organisations, educational organisations etc. Changes do not happen overnight and need to be supported.

At the time you have to deal and are cooperating with local institutions and other organisations such as suppliers of raw material and you ask the local environment to change.

To reach sustainable success, an analysis needs to be made of the institutional and organisational situation. The institutional analysis results in insight in the opportunities and threats and the organisational analysis provides the strengths and the weaknesses of the project. For the different stakeholders it becomes clear which changes are expected and where the resistance might be expected. Based on this, ideas and a plan can be formulated addressing both, the institutional and organisations issues.

Examples for institutional and organisational development are:

  • Cooperation in Agri- and food chains; many different chains are possible and different levels of chain integration are possible. All depends on the players in the chain, the product, the market etc.
  • The need for food safety; certification and traceability.
  • Power balance between chain actors and strategy of actors; long term cooperation or short term price buyers.
  • Increase local capacity by establishment of vocational schools, practical curricula, and private consulting services.
  • Legislation and level playing field; same rules for all competitors.