Capacity for Capacity Building?

Brenda Lipson

Written by

4th Apr 2012

I have just finished the facilitation of INTRAC’s 5-day course on Advanced Partner Capacity Building, and, as always, I found it a very stimulating experience. The focus is on a values-based framework for the design and implementation of capacity building programmes, and this Advanced level always attracts people with a wealth of experience and plenty to share with each other.

This time I tried out a new exercise –  a self-assessment of capacity to undertake capacity building work. The tool used was originally part of the draft CESA tool that Framework developed for Bond, however this part no longer appears in the online version that Bond are currently finalizing. So I tried it out with participants to see if they found it useful. It is a ‘spidergram’ type of tool, using evolutionary capacity indicators located within four broad areas – organisational coherence of approach; design and implementation of robust programmes; m&e of capacity building; and competencies of individuals facilitating capacity building work.

The feedback from participants was very positive. They found it a useful way to think about what their organization needs to invest in, if it wishes to implement potentially effective partner capacity building programmes. Many said they would take it back to their organizations, as they thought it would be useful to generate discussion amongst colleagues.

The next steps will be to finalise this tool, as there are some adjustments and additions that I’d like to make. Then we will put information on the website about it and possible applications. So, watch this space!



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