Henry Kellam Expertise


“There must be a healthy balance between planning and implementation so that planning capacity can be improved through feedback from implementation. In this respect, the learning and doing process defined the most appropriate methods through trial and error rather than trying to first pre-define approaches”

– Henry Kellam

“Our experience with decentralization has opened up many new possiblities for us in addressing our poverty issues. We have found that development efforts are more effective when they are planned and executed in partnership with local communities."

– Luísa Dias Diogo
Prime Minister, Mozambique

“Most of the countries now in conflict also turn out to be poor. They lack good governance; they do not provide the basic amenities for their people ... Having these basic necessities, the right regulatory system – and a government that believes in establishing ‘an enabling environment’ – frees and releases the energies of the people to participate in economic and social activity, and prepare for their future.”

– Kofi Annan
UN Secretary

“(If we are to realize) the goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015, good governance must operate… at the local level, through effective targeting of poverty and its chains... For this we need programmes that are light in terms of overhead, are leverageable, and, above all, enjoy full community ownership, participation and control over direction setting."

– Mark Malloch Brown
UNDP Administrator




Henry H. Kellam, III Curriculum Vitae
(PDF doc, 104 kb)

For the past 25 years, Henry Kellam has worked in a number of Eastern and Southern Africa countries, Middle East, Small Pacific Island nations and Southeast Asian countries with such organizations as the US Peace Corps, USAID, UNDP, UNOPS, DFID, UN-HABITAT, UNCDF, UNDESA, GTZ and other private sector international firms and NGOs. He also has several years experience working in the United States at various levels of government.

Countries he has worked in include: Cyprus, Djibouti, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, Indonesia, Iraq, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Malawi, Moldova, Namibia, Palau, Palestine (West Bank), Papua New Guinea (PNG), Philippines, Rwanda, Saipan, Solomon Islands, Uganda, USA, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Henry Kellam provides his technical advisory services to donor institutions, NGOs as well as to Governments. His services are provided within the framework of the following policy objectives:

  • Strengthening the capacities of governments and stakeholders to provide ‘synergy’ in sector wide planning, financial management, budgeting and implementing basic infrastructure and social service delivery - "learning by doing" or "adaptive management".
  • Supporting central, regional and local governments to formulate policies promoting constitutional and administrative reform, political and fiscal decentralization, to foster enabling legal and administrative environments, and to strengthen local economic development.
  • Empowering the organizations of local civil society, particularly women’s associations and users of natural resources.

The growing demand for participatory processes requires technical advisory services on a cost-recovery basis for designing local governance and decentralization support programs. New responsibilities and tasks have been assigned to communities to assume the responsibility for planning and fiscal/financial accountability in order to coordinate and steer regional and local development processes. This shift has proved difficult to implement due to insufficient specialized capability available at the local level coupled with administrations often working inefficiently. Technical support is required in training, advisory services, strengthening of the self-responsibility of local decision-makers in the administration and civil society, as well as for structural, land and environmental management, fiscal/financial management, organizational change and integrated approaches for sector development.

Henry Kellam promotes appropriate strategies that take into account the respective human and financial resources available for the planning of public and social services and executing appropriate infrastructure and community-change measures. The principle of participation by the population is a key consideration and vital to mobilize the people and community at large. Participation and self-help are critical for successful regional development and to ensure that the needs of the local population are indeed incorporated into all development stages. One should realize that development must make a realistic assessment of the development potentials - but more particularly of the limitations of the natural resources and staffing capacities in government agencies in order to design viable development models.  It is also important to ensure that the relevant project organizations are established and functioning i.e. steering committees, project management units, implementation teams, etc., as this will ensure that the appropriate authority exists and that project objectives are in sink with the overall organizational direction.

Objective – To reduce poverty through good governance and local development initiatives.

  • Ownership: Ensuring that programs/projects are nationally owned and implemented;
  • Capacity development: Strengthening the capacity and accountability of local governments and local financial institutions;
  • Participation: Securing local commitment through the participation of the local population, particularly women, and a strengthened civil society;
  • Innovation: Approaches based on ‘lessoned learned’ for new/improved design and implementation of local development programs and operations;
  • Policy impact: Working closely with all stakeholders to promote policy changes that improve local governance and decentralization;
  • Replication: Promoting replication of programs and the adoption of best practices by governments, donor organizations, Non Government Societies and the private sector;
  • Subsidiary: Ensuring that decision-making responsibilities are entrusted to institutions as close as possible to those affected by these same decisions;
  • Sustainability: Ensuring that all programs/projects have a plan of action setting out the steps towards attaining sustainability through exit strategy;
  • Partnership: Fostering close partnerships with governments, donor agencies, the private sector and Non Government Societies.


  • The need for substantial improvements in basic public infrastructure investment and service delivery for the poor, especially in the rural areas of less developed countries. This requires increased financing, but it also demands major improvements in the policy and institutional framework for delivery, for more effective use of funds allocated.
  • The need for local governments to promote/improve dialogue and partnership between the state, citizens and their communities, civil society and the private sector in planning and public service delivery.
  • The need for capacity building and institutional change that require national decentralization policy reform in order to develop potential.

Strategies are based on strategic and flexible programing combining technical assistance with development budget support to governments, which provides:

  • National policy changes and institutional innovations for local level development.
  • Training and advisory support for institutional change at local and central levels.
  • Financial resources to be managed improving local institutions that allow local financing of development plans and establishes the framework for fiscal transfer mechanisms.
  • Focus on ‘lessons learned’ through pilot approaches in order to promote national decentralization and local governance policy reforms.
  • Focus on the reduction of poverty through the delivery of basic infrastructure and services, and the introduction of more sustainable natural resource management practices.

Results are achieved by working directly with and nurturing relationships with local and national authorities, communities, civil societies and the private sector that include:

  • Local governing institutions, Non Government Societies and private contractors are better equipped to design and operate local infrastructure and to provide services that meet the needs of the community;
  • Transparent and accountable financial resource management systems, procedures and trained staff within local governing institutions;
  • Measurably increased access by poor communities, especially women, to public goods and services;
  • Measurably higher savings, income generation and employment rates among the poor;
  • Policies and institutional changes that reflect local development and decentralization concerns at the national and local levels;
  • The adoption by national governments and other donor agencies of knowledge, innovations and best practices;
  • Improved community management of natural resources and enhanced food security in fragile areas;
  • Large-scale replication and self-dissemination of successfully methods, approaches and processes.
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