The Dhulikel market place for providers and beneficiaries of capacity development services was a first in Nepal. Rural organizations normally don't buy services to improve their performance. National programs decide what is needed and buy training packages in bulk from consulting firms. That is supposed to be cheaper. Well is it? The 40+ rural organizations in the Dhulikel market place were shocked.
One of them joked:"I wanted to buy a shirt, but all I could afford was a handkerchief. Donors should give us the money: we can negotiate much better prices!"
For Capacity Development service providers, a dialogue with potential clients was a very new experience. It has inspired them to think of selling their services directly to beneficiary organisations rather than indirectly to donor funded programs and projects.
In discussing with the service providers, rural organizations realized that they do not know their capacity needs, and have no ideas about how their performance could be improved. It was the first time they actually discussed with CD service providers.
Providers discovered that some “high end” rural clients have more money than anticipated. A consultant explains:
“One community wanted to upgrade their mini-hydro-power plant. They offered a price for our service, but when we explained what was involved they realised the price offered was too low. Without asking they tripled the amount. They have money! We exchanged contacts, and I think there is a contract possible.”
Another consultant also observed:
“Money is not the problem. The problem is, how do we get our services out there?”
That is the mission of RE-source -- a Local Capacity Development Facility, inspired by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation -- in the rural Renewable Energy sector in Nepal. Hosted by the Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), REsource aims to get affordable CD service “out there” to local organisations and companies who can bring renewable energy solutions to remote households and entrepreneurs Nepal.
The blogpost is from Lucia Nass, a capacity development professional working for SNV Netherlands Development Organisation. Click here if you want to read more blogposts from Lucia.