Institution has the technical capacity and inter-institutional relationships to implement family planning/reproductive health policies

 

Definition:

Technical capacity” refers to staff knowledge, training and experience along with the systems in place required to operationalize a policy.  “Inter-institutional relationships” refers to the working relationships the institution or organization has with other players it is expected to interact with in order to implement the policy (e.g., policymakers at the national and decentralized level, universities, faith-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, government stakeholders, donors, civil society, community leaders, healthcare institutions and healthcare providers, etc.).  It is about the networks and leverage institutions have with others that can facilitate or impede policy implementation. 

Data Requirements:

Information is needed on the technical proficiencies of the institution responsible for policy implementation. Evidence is also needed on how the implementing institution interacts and collaborates with other institutions in implementing family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) policies.

Data Sources:

Implementation plans can outline the specific activities the institution will undertake to implement the policy. Quarterly and annual reports of implementing institutions will provide an overview of the technical capacities of the institution. They can also state how each institution is performing in comparison to its expected outcomes. Qualitative interviews will provide insight into the relationships between institutions as well as any attempts that have been made to build relationships with other organizations. Organizational capacity assessments can provide information on technical capacity. Action items of meeting minutes to see who is involved in various activities and initiatives can supplement qualitative interviews).

Purpose:

Policy implementation includes both technical and organizational aspects—not only must an institution have the knowledge and technical skills for implementation but it must also have the appropriate organizational structure, network, and relationship with other institutions to  foster collaboration. Power structures and inter-institutional dynamics involved in implementing the policy should not be underestimated. Complex policies will involve multiple institutions, at national and decentralized levels, in its implementation. This indicator highlights the implicit need for institutions to carry out expected activities as well as work together to implement FP/RH policies. 

Issue(s):

In identifying if an institution has the technical capacity and institutional relationships to implement policy, evaluators will have to use multiple data sources and rely heavily on qualitative data which can be subjective and difficult to interpret.  Assessing inter-institutional relationships can be challenging and time-consuming, particularly for an “outsider”, as intangible qualities such as reputation and clout often influence how institutions relate to one another. 

Clear, concise, and standardized definitions for measuring capacity of institutions to uptake policy do not exist.  Furthermore, the technical and organizational resources and networks required for implementation vary by policy and context, so what is appropriate for an organization in one case may not be deemed sufficient in another case.