Since 1993, the NCEA has contributed to the strengthening of ESIA and SEA systems in low and middle income countries. When designing an approach for ESIA/SEA capacity development (CD), the NCEA takes the country’s own, specific ESIA/SEA system as a starting point. This means that it takes all relevant actors and system components into consideration to better understand the system’s effectiveness and needs for strengthening. In doing so, the NCEA applies the following principles:
- Ownership by the main actor(s) is a condition for successful CD programmes. NCEA involvement is therefore not initiated by the NCEA but always starts with a request by one of those actors.
- Joint needs analysis coupled with joint development of the CD programme strengthens ownership.
- Flexibility is key: priorities may change and changes may lead to new insights in what is needed.
- The NCEA, as a demand-driven organisation, is able to provide this flexibility and adjust to the partner’s agenda and political window, also for the longer term.
- Earlier experiences of the partner organisations combined with best practices from elsewhere, form the input for strengthening capacities.
- The NCEA stimulates coordination between actors to ensure effective use of funds and time.
- Committed and mandated people working from within the requesting party need to be available for daily management.
- Donor coordination is also key and actively sought for by the NCEA and partners.