An Investigation of Capacity Development in a Social Enterprise Ecosystem within the Context of International Development

George, Lenni Maria (2021) An Investigation of Capacity Development in a Social Enterprise Ecosystem within the Context of International Development. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

Lenni Maria George PhD Thesis published_Final version_Submitted Apr 2021_Final Award Nov 2021.pdf - Accepted Version

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Despite progress toward the sustainable development goals, the international donor community and governments in aid recipient countries cannot meet the basic needs of their citizens. New solutions and partners are required. Social enterprises have the potential to be such a partner, but in South Africa they are not selected as partners of choice to deliver development interventions. Some of the reasons for this are because they are generally small in terms of their size and turnover. Most do not make a surplus and they currently do not have the credibility or sustainability to become a partner of choice. To do so, they need to develop their capacity (Heierli, 2011; Myres et al., 2018; Ridley-Duff and Bull, 2011; Richardson et al., 2020).

But what actually constitutes capacity development? There is no agreement on the definition of capacity development, and it continues to be a vague, catch-all description of the processes of increasing self-reliance, sustainability and choice. With little clear definition it is difficult to agree what type of interventions actually constitute capacity development and measure the results of capacity development activities. (Brinkerhoff and Morgan, 2010; Morgan, 2003; Potter and Brough, 2004; Ubels, 2011)

This research was conceived to expose the variations in the conception of capacity development within the social enterprise ecosystem in South Africa. In doing so, identify what types of capacity development interventions would enable social enterprises to become more credible and sustainable partners in international development.

The research method chosen is phenomenography which is strongly associated with variation theory and is used to explore the qualitatively different ways experience a given phenomenon. Unlike phenomenology, phenomenographical research does not consider description and interpretation to be the end result of the inquiry. It is centred upon a critical factor; capturing the variance in the ways people experience a conception, with a particular emphasis on collective rather than individual meaning.

From this research capacity development was conceived in five distinct ways, as individual development, organisational development, community development, government and public sector development and human development. Combined these five concepts form a synonym for capacity development in the social enterprise ecosystem.

From the research emerged a new model: The Five Domains of Capacity Development, which is intended to engage stakeholders in more explicit conversations about what capacities need to be developed and how best to develop them.

One significant feature of this research is the inclusion of donors and funders of capacity development interventions within the research. In other studies on capacity development, the donor community are generally not recognised as part of the ecosystem and have therefore remained outside of the research process.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
23 April 2021Submitted
19 November 2021Accepted
Uncontrolled Keywords: Capacity development, international development, social enterprise
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-01 - business and management (non-specific)
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-02 - business studies
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Business, Digital Transformation & Entrepreneurship
Depositing User: Jaycie Carter
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2022 15:16
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 11:48

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