We are


Social development is about addressing persistent challenges like poverty reduction, education, healthcare, economic and social disparities, gender equality, and human rights. Through policy reforms and innovation, social development aims to transform social structures and create sustainable change that benefits individuals, communities, and societies.

Capability is committed to forging a global alliance of development experts and organizations, united by a shared vision of eradicating social development challenges through transformative methodologies.

We co-develop context-specific solutions grounded in local understanding with local organizations to support development organizations across diverse sectors, including democratic governance and decentralisation transformations, community development, education, climate change adaptation, rural development, and evidence-informed policy systems. 

These solutions apply systems thinking, problem-driven political economy analysis, and developmental evaluation to help organisations address complex social challenges and implement adaptive initiatives that prioritise the most vulnerable.

Our offerings include

Research and analysis

We partner with local organisations to facilitate and conduct applied political economy analysis. This includes identifying and mapping locally-nominated problems, understanding stakeholder interests and incentives, and assessing how power dynamics influence policy outcomes. These insights help us design with our partners initiatives that are sensitive to the political environment and adapted to the local context.

Change strategies

We facilitate the co-design of programme  strategies that integrate problem-driven iterative adaptation. This collaborative approach helps generate theories of change and portfolios of actions aiming to shift governance systems so that they provide public services and livelihood support to the most vulnerables.

MEL and strategic learning

We partner with local organizations to design and implement tailored monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) systems, collaborating as strategic learning partners throughout their programs. We combines developmental evaluation principles with sensemaking and group facilitation. By prioritising strategic learning, our MEL systems track progress and provide evidence and insights to guide programme adaptation and improve results.

Our work

As Senior Research, we are actively involved in a team conducting research on the EdTech innovation ecosystem in Bangladesh to seek to comprehend the systemic dynamics and behavioural patterns that promote or hinder the growth and scaling of EdTech innovations in the country. This research is undertaken as part of the EdTech Hub and involves partnerships with HundrED in Finland and a2i – Aspire to Innovate in Bangladesh. Furthermore, the project tests research methodologies rooted in systems thinking principles.
Client: ODIFunder: FCDODuration: 07/2022-12/2023

We lead the team designing and conducting an Outcome Harvesting exercise to assess the contribution of the KIAT programme to strengthening the quality of infrastructure investments policy and institutional practices in Indonesia.

Client: DT Global | Funder: DFAT | Duration: 12/2023 – 06/2024

We are part of the Monitoring, Evidence, and Learning (MEL) team within the Ultra Poverty Graduation Initiative, leading the strategic learning component. We work closely with the programme team, applying principles derived from developmental evaluation, Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA), and applied political economy analysis.

Client: BRAC International | Funder: Audacious project Duration: 01/2022 – 12/2024

About us

We established Capability in 2018 with a vision of forging an international alliance of development experts and organisations united by a shared commitment to eradicating social development challenges through adaptive development and  policy innovations that effectively address locally identified problems.

Arnaldo Pellini

Arnaldo is an experienced  researcher and development practitioner with over two decades of experience in the international development sector. His expertise lies working alongside teams in problem-driven political economy analysis, designing change strategies, and co-designing MEL systems for adaptive management. He has lived and worked for extended periods in Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Arnaldo holds an MPhil in Economic Development from the University of Glasgow and a PhD in Education from the University of Tampere (Finland). His extensive portfolio of publications across academic articles, book chapters, working papers, research briefs, blog posts, and opinion pieces underscores his commitment to promoting evidence-based policy and practice.

Languages spoken: Italian, English, Spanish, and German.

Katja Pellini

Katia is a founding partner of Capability. She is an ecologist, international development cooperation practitioner and entrepreneur with fifteen ears of experience in environmental governance and policy. She has worked and lived in Nepal, Cambodia, Viet Nam, the Philippines and Indonesia. She is currently working with Plan International Finland and advising their programme strategy and practice for climate change adaptation. Katja is a life-long learner pursuing a Ma degree in degrowth and is also involved in the warm data international community of practice. 

Languages spoken: Finnish, English.

John Lennon


John Lennon
John Lennon

Our partners


SDPI is a non-profit research organisation based in Islamabad (Pakistan) founded in 1992. The institute conducts research on various issues related to sustainable development, including climate change, water resources, agriculture, health, education, and poverty alleviation. It also provides technical assistance and advisory services to governments, NGOs, and other organisations working in these areas.


Based in Indonesia, the Dala Institute is dedicated to elucidating and identifying durable solutions to contemporary issues at the nexus between nature and society. Dala consists of a team of highly experienced researchers and consultants who understand that
environmental and societal challenges are inseparable. Its core services are social science research, performance and impact evaluations, and technical assistance.


FDM is a consulting  company based in Kathmandu (Nepal). Over its past two decades it has conducted a number of assignments pertaining to research, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building, and institutional development on various social development issues and for a range of international organisations.


Using Evidence is a research and evaluation consultancy founded by Fred Carden that focuses on development and research evaluation. Using Evidence is concerned not only with high quality research, but in exploring ways to enhance the use of results.

Our clients