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What is 'Capacity Building'?

Capacity Building is much more than training and includes the following:
- Human resource development, the process of equipping individuals with the understanding, skills and access to information, knowledge and training that enables them to perform effectively.
- Organizational development, the elaboration of management structures, processes and procedures, not only within organizations but also the management of relationships between the different organizations and sectors (public, private and community).
- Institutional and legal framework development, making legal and regulatory changes to enable organizations, institutions and agencies at all levels and in all sectors to enhance their capacities (citation: Urban Capacity Building Network).

It also interfaces with some work by the New Institutional Economics association led notably by the 1994 Nobel prize winner Douglass North. It tries to lay out the essential organisational and institutional prerequisites for economic and social progress building is defined as the "process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in the fast-changing world." (Ann Philbin, Capacity Building in Social Justice Organizations Ford Foundation, 1996)

For organizations, capacity building may relate to almost any aspect of its work: improved governance, leadership, mission and strategy, administration (including human resources, financial management, and legal matters), program development and implementation, fundraising and income generation, diversity, partnerships and collaboration, evaluation, advocacy and policy change, marketing, positioning, planning, etc. For individuals, capacity building may relate to leadership development, advocacy skills, training/speaking abilities, technical skills, organizing skills, and other areas of personal and professional development. (Evaluation of Capacity Building: Lessons from the Field by Deborah Linnell, published by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management)

Capacity building is the elements that give fluidity, flexibility and functionality of a program/organization to adapt to changing needs of the population that is served.


 
 
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