page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6 page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
< prev - next > Social and economic development Social Development learning_from_practice (Printable PDF)
the social and political context – both
within groups and in broader society –
which may present barriers to collective
activity and effective group functioning.
The process of institutional analysis may
take time to carry out thoroughly, working
with the community, but it is an invaluable
investment. In Kenya, in the provincial
city of Nakuru, an inventory of community
organizations conducted in 2005 was critical
in determining an effective strategy. It
highlighted opportunities to bring together an
inclusive umbrella body of local community
organizations, and to encourage the local
authority to engage the wider community
through this body, to deliver urban services.
Until this point, the local authority was
unaware of the extent of local community
organization, and had not considered the
option of engaging with them.
A failure to carry out institutional
analysis can lead to problems later on. For
example in a camp for internally displaced
people on the outskirts of Gedarif, eastern
Sudan, Practical Action facilitated the
establishment of a democratically elected
Local Development Committee. However,
through inadequate scoping, this initiative
failed to engage properly with strong existing
tribal structures, or to sort out their respective
roles and responsibilities. This led to conflicts,
inaction, and a collapse in the capacity of the
committee to take decisions or work to the
benefit of the wider community.
Box 1 outlines key elements of an
institutional analysis and possible tools to use.
It is beneficial to involve stakeholders at the
outset, so they both contribute to and own
the analysis, and play a role in making any
decisions about the strategy for engagement
with the community and for organizational
b. Work with existing community structures
Decisions about how best to engage with a
community will be based on good institutional
analysis. This will have identified whether
representative community organizations
or relevant interest groups to address key
areas of need exist already, how they may
need strengthening, or whether entirely new
structures are required to fill organizational
Box 1. Practical tools for institutional
Institutional analysis (which may also be
known as stakeholder analysis or power
analysis) should ideally extend beyond an
analysis of formal organizations, to include
broader institutions and processes. For
example, informal structures, politics,
gender, culture and tradition, the policy and
legal environment, etc. might all affect or
influence the style or focus of intervention
in a community.
A basic stakeholder analysis should
cover the following:
• the different actors within a community,
interacting with the community – and
those that are lacking;
• their respective roles and responsi-
bilities, and which groups they serve or
• their capacity to perform the responsi-
bilities they are associated with;
• the relationships between these different
• the policies, rules and incentives that
influence these different actors in
performing their responsibilities.
Successful institutional analysis can use
a variety of methodologies to appraise the
possibilities and constraints presented by
an existing set of institutions. These might
include a range of formal or participatory
tools, including brainstorming, key
informant interviews, group discussions,
stakeholder mapping and power analysis
using Venn diagrams, or understanding
opportunities and constraints with Force
Field Analysis.
Further information
FAO. (2001) Socio-economic and Gender
Analysis (SEAGA). ‘Field Handbook’. http://
Useful publications from IFAD. http://
Practical Participatory Tools from
Wageningen University – see particularly
Venn diagrams.