October 23, 2016

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Building of human capital vs economic development

There has been a consensus by academics and researchers that the quality of human capital is essential to economic growth and development of a nation. It is also said that good governance and strong institutions are necessary to foster national development. And the efficiency and effectiveness of public institutions depend, in turn, on service delivery mechanisms and a supportive framework of rules and procedures, which enable the bureaucracy to discharge their duties in a citizen-centric and responsive manner. This requires highly committed, effective human capital that can undertake and implement the policies and programmes of the government.
In this regard, it is worth recalling that the incumbent government has laid special emphasis on two ministries – health and education. The reason for giving priority to these two sectors is that health and education are essential to national development. No nation has achieved sustained economic development without substantial investment in human capital, considered to be the most valuable asset that needs to be mobilized, developed and empowered to fully participate in all socio-economic activities. Obviously, countries wishing to effectuate economic growth and development require strong, healthy and educated human resources. This is the reason why priority is given to the health and education sectors.
In this juncture, international assistance programmes should support capacity building for local organisations to escalate development. To contribute effectively to development, civil society organisations (CSOs) must have the rights and freedom to organise, secure resources, voice opinions, participate in agenda setting, operate effectively and help hold the state institutions accountable for development results. The development assistance can be more efficient and effective if the local capacity building is better integrated into the ongoing programmes.
It is worth noting that capacity building is not income support, as many may think. It is, in fact, the efforts aimed at achieving long-term growth and development. However, it is important to strike a proper balance between short-term and long-term development strategies without bias to either side. Human capital development is the major type of capacity building and ought to be regarded as the primary theme of the social policies and programmes. Capacity building in societies and organisations involve education and development of skills – the capabilities to enable them to withstand the ever-changing environment.
In conclusion, the concept of human capacity building generally encompasses a policy action that is geared towards providing the skills and capabilities of key players in organisations. Improvement of skills and capabilities can be achieved through training and education programmes, continuing professional development programmes, seminars and exposing the organisations to good organisational practices. The key aspects of human capital capacity building includes the organizational development, human resource development and legal and regulation development. All these aspects are interconnected in order to achieve capacity building. And only through achievement of capacity building for human capital can national economic growth and development be achieved.

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