A new publication: An analysis of leadership development programmes
Do “leadership development programmes” contribute to positive development outcomes or do they only enhance the careers of their participants? Could they do both and, if so, how? Do they facilitate the emergence of networks of individuals and organizations in the private and public sectors that can underpin the evolution of developmental or reform coalitions? What criteria can donors use in deciding whether and how to support, fund, influence or design such programmes?
At the same time as interest in ‘leadership’ as a factor in the processes of development has increased within the international development community, many new Leadership Development Programmes (LDPs) have emerged. The profusion of such programmes in the developing world, and the ambiguity with which the concept of ‘leadership’ is often treated, has resulted in difficulty in differentiating amongst (often in reality very different) LDPs.
This paper by Heather Lyne de Ver and Fraser Kennedy, commissioned by the DLP, reviews leadership development programmes as a tool for development policy. They argue that donor and recipient organisations need to be much more discriminating when choosing to support or even design programmes; that most programmes fall short if their aim is to contribute to development; and that understanding the ‘political’ nature of leadership is the key to choosing or designing a good programme.
The study is based on research which reviewed of a sample of 67 different LDPs operating in different regions of the world. It provides a brief overview of these LDPs; suggests criteria and critical questions that should be considered by policy-makers when selecting, supporting or even designing appropriate LDPs; and addresses some of the policy implications raised.
Download the paper here: