What does it take to enable people to reach their potential? One answer is to facilitate investment in human capital. Human capital is the store of “knowledge, skills, and health that people invest in and accumulate throughout their lives” according to the World Bank’s Human Capital Project. Building human capital, is vital to achieve inclusive development and prosperity.
But even as governments seek to invest in human capital, increasing human capital is not always simple or straightforward. As with other development efforts, initiatives to build human capital – whether these are relatively circumscribed projects or long-horizon interventions that may span sectors and decades – often encounter delivery challenges: the non-technical problems that hinder development interventions and that prevent practitioners from translating technical solutions into results on the ground.
GDI and the Human Capital Project recently worked together to produce a series of delivery notes on interventions to build human capital in five countries. These short pieces showcase the delivery challenges that practitioners faced and explain how they addressed these challenges, with an eye to understanding how these projects were able to effectively build human capital by employing a “whole of government” approach. These include the following cases:
- Integrating Human Capital into National Development Planning in Singapore
- Promoting Human Capital Development through Demographic Transition: A Bangladesh Story
- Nutrition Fuels Human Capital: Ghana’s School Feeding Programme
- A Participatory Approach to Building Human Capital: Morocco’s National Human Development Initiative
- Boosting Human Capital in the Philippines through Conditional Cash Transfers
These notes shed light on implementation lessons from these diverse experiences, in particular how to build effective mechanisms for coordination and collaboration across government, how to gather and use evidence for effective implementation, and how to sustain engagement even across different administrations and political cycles. This blog post from the Human Capital Project delves into some lessons from these cases in more detail. These notes also compliment a wide range of GDI case studies that involve increasing human capital.
By examining in depth how practitioners overcame delivery challenges to achieve gains in human capital, these new delivery notes provide insights and inspiration for tackling this crucial issue, and ultimately making it possible for more people to achieve their full potential.