15 – 16 June 2023

Get in touch on cdf.upp@iihs.ac.in or 9611911169

The IIHS Urban Practitioners’ Programme has been driving urban transformation in India through diverse capacity development projects and programmes at the state and national levels across a range of sectors, working with various national and state institutions and development agencies, and partnering with other capacity development and consulting and training institutions and experts.


Through the Capacity Development Forum (CDF), IIHS aims to bring together the diverse stakeholders involved in the capacity development arena into a strong and value-added network to consolidate learnings across the country and from around the world. The longer term objective of the forum is to collaborate not only for making our Capacity Development practices better, but also to build and manage knowledge through research papers and action research projects, and create a repository of knowledge on Capacity Development.

  • How can we learn from each other and improve our own approaches and processes?
  • How can we come together and work together to develop integrated and consistent ways of enhancing the effectiveness of capacity development programmes?
  • How can we develop and manage knowledge about capacity development, and thus enhance our capacity in capacity development?

CDF 2023 will focus on the enabling ecosystem and policy environment for capacity development, and examine the approaches and trends in reimagining mandates, structures and institutional arrangements that have shaped development initiatives. The panels will bring together important stakeholders from the intersection of various scales, sectors and components of CD to discuss how an enabling environment can address critical challenges, and support innovations for a full cycle approach to capacity building in the development sector.


The IIHS Capacity Development Forum 2023 will take place on 15 – 16 June 2023 in a hybrid format – at IIHS, Bengaluru City Campus and online.


The first day will have a series of panel discussions and presentations. A suite of capacity building courses, specially curated for CD practitioners, will be launched at the event.


CDF 2023 will see participants from training entities engaged in capacity building in the urban development sector, especially those empanelled by MoHUA, Ministry of Jal Shakti, and NIUA; representatives of international funding organisations; policy research experts; and academics. The day will end with a discussion, where an international expert on Indian public administration and capacity development will share his observations and thoughts.


The second day will have two roundtable discussions as part of CDF’s Community of Practice in Capacity Development, with representatives from training entities and knowledge institutions participating. The first roundtable discussion will have representatives from State-led training institutions, and focus on their perspectives on mandates, structures, policies at the state level for capacity building, and the role that they play within the enabling environment. The second roundtable will have capacity development practitioners reflecting on the discussions from all the preceding panels on how the CD Community of Practice can engage with the enabling environment.


The IIHS Library will host a mini-exhibition on Capacity Development and the strengthening of public institutions.


Workshop – Framing Teaching Cases

The event will culminate with a workshop on ‘Framing Teaching Cases’, where faculty will introduce the IIHS Case method, that was developed to serve two broad purposes: Pedagogical, i.e. teaching and learning both theory and practice; and Knowledge Generation, including research and generation of new knowledge across sites, practices and disciplines. Using an example of a teaching case developed for a Capacity Development programme, the faculty will walk the participants through the process of identifying suitable cases, building the framework for identified objectives, and how different formats may be used for appropriate audience groups. Participants will be encouraged to outline and frame teaching cases relevant to their sector of work, specific to the nature of Capacity Development work they typically undertake.

DAY 1 – Thursday, 15 June, 2023

10:00 am – 10:15 amWelcome Address
10:15 am – 10:40 amKeynote address: Enabling Environments

10:40 am – 11:40 am


Panel 1 – Perspectives from National-level organisations / ministries: Policymaking for Large-scale CD interventions
11:40 am – 12:00 pmTEA BREAK

12:00 pm – 01:00 pm


Panel 2 – Emerging role of the Private Sector in capacity development
01:00 pm – 02:00 pmLUNCH BREAK

02:00 pm – 03:30 pm


Panel 3 – Models and approaches for institutionalising Capacity Development through projects at the State-level

03:45 pm – 04:45 pm


Panel 4 – Perspectives from CD Practitioners and researchers on emerging opportunities and challenges
04:45 pm – 05:30 pmHIGH TEA

06:30 pm – 07:30 pm


International Dialogue: Role of Capacity Development in strengthening Public Institutions in India
07:30 pm – 07:45 pmClosing Remarks
07:45 pm – 09:30 pmNETWORKING DINNER

DAY 2 – Friday, 16 June, 2023

10:00 am – 11:30 amRound Table 1 – State-level Training Institutions (STI) on enabling environment
11:30 am – 11:45 amTEA BREAK
11:45 am – 01:00 pmRound Table 2 – Community of Practice: Capacity Development Practitioners on enabling environment
01:00 pm – 02:00 pmLUNCH BREAK
02:00 pm – 04:00 pmWorkshop – Framing Teaching Cases

Keynote Address

Dr. R. Balasubramaniam
Member (HR)
Capacity Building Commission


Dr. R. Balasubramaniam is a physician, holds an MPhil in Hospital Administration and Health Systems Management from BITS, Pilani and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University. 


He is the founder of the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), a development NGO and GRAAM, a public policy think tank in India. He is Member-HR in the Capacity Building Commission under the Government of India’s flagship initiative – Mission Karmayogi. 


He is a Tata Scholar, a Mason Fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School and a Fellow at the Hauser Center for Civil Society, Harvard University. He is a visiting Professor at IIT Delhi and Cornell University, where he delivers lectures on Leadership and Human Development. He is also Chairman of SEBI Social Stock Exchange Advisory Board.



Panel 1 – Perspectives from National-level organisations / ministries: Policymaking for large-scale CD interventions

The panel will reflect upon the evolution of approaches to large-scale training and capacity development interventions embedded in missions and schemes by the Central ministries and departments – from mission-specific rule-based training, and integrated programmes with an emphasis on mission convergence, to community-oriented, holistic approaches, their future evolution and how CD practitioners can support and strengthen these processes.


Anthony de Sa, IAS (Retd)
MP Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA);
Former Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh


Anthony de Sa has served as Collector of Chhindwara, Administrator of the Jabalpur Municipal Corporation, and Housing Commissioner of Madhya Pradesh. He was Director in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, handling India’s climate change and biodiversity conservation negotiations. He was also Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, handling India’s negotiations at the World Trade Organization. He was deputed to the United Nations for five years. He retired as one of the longest serving Chief Secretaries of Madhya Pradesh, and was Chairman of RERA, Madhya Pradesh. He is an MA from Bombay University, and an MPA from Harvard (USA). He is also an FRICS (UK). He is currently pursuing his PhD in the Built Environment.


Arun K Vijayan, IAS
CEO Smart City, Smart City Thiruvananthapuram &
Commissioner of Entrance Examinations, Govt. of Kerala


Arun K Vijayan is the CEO of Smart City Thiruvananthapuram and Commissioner of Entrance Examinations, Government of Kerala. Prior to this, he worked as District Development Commissioner – Department of Planning & Economic Affairs, Mission Director – AMRUT – Local Self Government Department, Directorate of Urban Affairs and Managing Director – Impact Kerala. 

He is involved in various development projects at the state, district and ULB levels in the upgradation of infrastructure related to water supply, sewage and urban transportation. He also focuses on development of initiatives with a special emphasis on safeguarding health and environmental issues.


Pradeep Singh, IFS
Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti


Pradeep Singh is an Indian Forest Service officer of the Gujarat Cadre. He holdsa B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering, and M.Tech in Computer Aided Design and Automation from IIT Bombay. He has an M.S in Forestry from the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun and PG Diploma in Environment Management from Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. 

Currently, Pradeep is serving as Director – Jal Jeevan Mission, Department of Drinking water and Sanitation and looks after the use of technology in water service delivery in states/ union territories. He has worked as Deputy Secretary, Climate Change Department, Government of Gujarat and Additional Secretary in Forest and Environment Department, Governmentt of Gujarat. He has also served as Project Director with the Water and Sanitation Management Organisation (WASMO). 


Rajul Bhatt, IPoS
Joint Secretary (Training)
Department of Personnel & Training


Rajul Bhatt an Indian Postal Service Officer, currently appointed as Joint Secretary (Training) with the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT). She began her journey as a Senior Superintendent of Post Offices at Ahmedabad. Rajul had held important appointments in the Department of Posts, Government of India. She was associated with the conceptualising and planning of core banking in the Post Office Savings Bank as Director in Dak Bhawan from 2008 to 2010. She worked as Director-PMU in the IT Modernisation project of India Post, and was involved in its planning, conceptualising and subsequent implementation and monitoring in states in 2011. Rajul served as Director Postal Services from 2013 to 2017.



Panel 2 – Emerging role of the Private Sector in Capacity Development

This panel will explore the importance of institutional capacity in the government from the perspective of the private sector. Panelists will be invited to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities, and how the private sector can play a role in institutional capacity building in the government.


Narayanan Ramaswamy
Partner and National Lead for Education & Skill Development Sector
KPMG India


Narayan leads the education, skill development and social sector advisory sector for KPMG India. He is the national champion for  KPMG Impact – a global movement by KPMG to support clients in building sustainable business and institutions. Narayanan has led multiple consulting engagements across India, SAARC,  ASEAN, Middle East and African regions. He has led key engagements for leading multilateral and bilateral agencies like World Bank, FCDO, ADB, GIZ, USAID in their education and skill development programmes. 

Narayanan has been in the expert committees of the Ministry of Education  and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, like New Education Policy, EQUIP – 5 year vision plan for higher education, and India@2047. 


Vaishnavi Prabhakaran
Head – Sustainability
TATA Power 


Vaishnavi started her journey with Tata Power a decade and half back, and has essayed varied roles in business development, strategy, branding and communications and sustainability. 

Vaishnavi brings a strong techno-managerial expertise to the field of sustainability. She has led the transformation journey of Tata Power by enabling the Climate Action commitments of Carbon Net Zero before 2045, Water Neutrality and Zero Waste to Landfill by 2030, and No net loss to Biodiversity. She has championed biodiversity conservation causes with marquee projects like Mahseer conservation, Elephant conservation, grassland ecosystem conservation and large-scale indigenous afforestation. She was instrumental in setting up Innovation Councils at Tata Power, and regularly mentors youngsters within the organisation to reach their best potential. As part of the transformation journey, she has been a part of the think-tank for improving diversity and inclusion, is implementing human rights assessment, and developing a common language of sustainability through extensive training interventions. She has been part of the CII Climate Change Council and has contributed to the global power sector roadmap with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.


Vijay Ganapathy
Co-founder and Partner
Development Sector Advisory
Thinkthrough Consulting


Vijay Ganapathy is an experienced development sector professional with over 21 years of expertise in areas such as education, natural resource management, child rights, livelihoods, and micro-enterprises. 


Before establishing TTC in 2015, Vijay served in leadership roles at EY and KPMG, where he pioneered development sector consulting services. His strategic guidance and programme development expertise have assisted corporates, governments, and multilateral and bilateral clients in formulating scalable and sustainable strategies and programmes. Vijay’s extensive experience spans the Middle East and South Asia, collaborating with a diverse range of clients, including multilateral organisations, government entities, corporations, and non-profit organisations. Vijay is presently on the Board of several NGOs working on issues like child rights, education, and environmental sustainability. 



Panel 3 – Models and approaches for institutionalising Capacity Development through projects at the State-level

What models of capacity development interventions can be used to institutionalise these efforts? What has been the experience? What are the strategic and necessary areas of growth? What is the direction in which we are headed? How are funding partners, particularly bilateral and multilateral agencies, pushing for these changes? This panel will discuss existing mandates for state and city governments, institutions, and agencies to incorporate Capacity Development components into project and policy design. Panellists will be invited to share their thoughts on whether CD should be limited to training alone, or if secondary level interventions at the level of institutional arrangements and organisational development should be a part of these programmes.


Dr. Rahul Karnamadakala Sharma
Fellow – State Capacity Initiative, Centre for Policy Research


Dr. Rahul Karnamadakala Sharma is a Fellow at the State Capacity Initiative at the Centre for Policy Research. His work over the past 12 years has focused on human resources, administrative reform, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation, and data analysis. He sectoral interests are in waste management, distributed energy systems, and sustainable cities. He holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, and a PhD in Public Management and Quantitative Methods from the University of California as a Regent’s Scholar.


Anand Lakhan
Independent Consultant


Anand has been working on housing rights issues with urban vulnerable communities for 25 years. He is also the convener of the state level slum federation ‘Madhya Pradesh Nav Nirmaan Manch’. Anand has worked as an assistant professor in the Master of Social Work department of Indore Christian college, Indore, and School of Social Science department of Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya . Currently, Anand is engaged with IIHS as an external consultant, along with People’s Science Institute, Dehradun, Indo Global Social Service Society, etc.



Panel 4 – Perspectives from CD Practitioners and researchers on emerging opportunities and challenges

In this panel, CD practitioners, researchers, and entrepreneurs will share their views and experiences on how the enabling environment can address critical challenges, enable innovation, and create a supportive ecosystem for a full cycle approach to capacity building in the development sector.


Kenneth Sim
Chandler Academy of Governance, Singapore


Kenneth is Dean of the Chandler Academy, which is the training arm of the Chandler Institute of Governance (CIG), a Singapore-headquartered non-profit organisation. In this role, Kenneth sets the strategic direction for the academy and oversees its training activities.


Kenneth is a former Singapore Administrative Service officer, and held key appointments in portfolios such as higher education, workforce skills development and environmental sustainability. He had also served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister.


Kenneth graduated from Columbia University, which he attended on a scholarship awarded by the Singapore Public Service Commission.


Dr Manoj Kumar Pati
Knowledge Management Specialist


Dr Manoj Kumar Pati is a former EV (Emerging Voices for Global Health 2016 cohort), and holds a special interest in global health, health systems research, primary health care, Tuberculosis and Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). He is currently pursuing a PhD in social sciences from the University of Antwerp, Belgium. 


Manoj has years of experience in designing and implementing capacity building programmes for key stakeholders in the public health space, such as the community, community leaders/ platforms, programme implementers, and policymakers. He was instrumental in conceptualising, designing and developing technical training resources for providers and Gram Panchayat members in COVID management under the Grama panchayat Amruta Arogya Abiyaana (GPAAA) programme. He also championed the rolling out of the revised service delivery and protocol implementation for the NCD Care Continuum Programme from the COVID perspective; and played a key role in developing and rolling out perspective building of community health workers in NCD management during the pandemic in urban Mysuru. Commissioned by the National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), he contributed to the facilitator and participant training modules for the urban local bodies on the vision of healthy cities and health and wellness centres.


Dr. G Rameshwar Rao
Engineering Staff College of India (ESCI)


G Rameshwar Rao has over 40 years of experience in engineering (water supply and sewerage). He has a doctoral degree from Osmania University. He has worked with the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) in various positions, including the cadre of Chief General Manager. 


During his tenure as Chairman, Telangana State Centre of The Institution of Engineers (IEI), it was named the ;Best State Centre’ for the best all-round performance for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 successively. Earlier in 2016, he was chosen as the first Hon. Secretary of the new Telangana State Centre after bifurcation.



International Dialogue: Role of Capacity Development in strengthening Public Institutions in India

In this special segment, Aromar Revi, Director, IIHS, will be in conversation with an internationally renowned sectoral expert to discuss the challenges of inadequate institutional capacity in dealing with rapid urbanisation in India and how an enabling environment could be created to address it.


Devesh Kapur
Director Asia Programs; and Starr Foundation Professor of South Asia Studies
Johns Hopkins University – Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)


Devesh Kapur is the Starr Foundation Professor of South Asian Studies and Director of Asia Programs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University, he was professor of Political Science; and Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania, holding the Madan Lal Sobti Chair for the Study of Contemporary India. He has also held the positions of Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Frederick Danziger Associate Professor of Government at Harvard. Devesh received the Joseph R Levenson Teaching Prize, givento the best junior faculty at Harvard College, and was awarded for outstanding teaching in political science by the American Political Science Association in 2005.



Round Table 1 – State-level Training Institutions on enabling environment

This round table, with representatives from various state level training institutes, as a community of practice, will reflect upon the key learnings from Panel 3 and discuss how State-level Training Institutions can contribute to building sector specific enabling environments through their work. Other aspects of their CD portfolio, such as Certifications and Recognition; Measuring Impact of Capacity Development; and Capacity Development as Behaviour Change will be discussed, within the context of CDF’s overarching theme.



Round Table 2 – Community of Practice: Capacity Development Practitioners on enabling environment

CD practitioners from training entities (TEs), Administrative Training Institutes (ATIs) and CD teams associated with academic institutions will deliberate on their role as a community of practice in contributing to the domain, including research in Capacity Development and knowledge management, peer learning, building trainers’ capacity, and innovating in the design of Capacity Development programmes. This group will also weigh in on how policies, mandates, and institutional structures could leverage the effort put in by scores of CD practitioners, in the form of hundreds of hours of training conducted, to deliver better development outcomes.