Capacity Building


Proposed definition:


Definition 4: Capacity Building: Intentional actions and initiatives that support us to become the best we can be – as individuals and as communities. And a little more detail: The word "capacity" speaks to our potential – as people, and as communities. So, when we talk about capacity, we are talking about that which we have the potential to become. Capacity building is about change, about becoming more. A comprehensive, integrated approach to capacity building nurtures excellence, expansion and positive change in all areas of human experience. By building social, environmental, economic, physical, psychological, spiritual, and cultural capacity, we are able to address the potential of the whole person within the whole community. Sometimes the changes in capacity we hope to achieve will include individual knowledge, behaviours, skills, and techniques. We also want to give a boost to policies and infrastructure, funding, staffing and other helpful resources. We value these capacities as concrete and practical, as instrumental and measurable. But we also need to be mindful of less concrete but equally critical human capacities such as individual self-awareness, attitudes, purpose, worldviews, and ethics, and how each of these capacities influences our choices and behaviours. We also want to pay attention to cultural capacities – those collective assumptions, attitudes, and worldviews that influence our life in families, groups, organizations, and in institutions such as government and the health system.
Source: http://www.bchealthycommunities.ca/Content/Capacity%20Building/Definitions.asp#CapacityBuilding
Focus: Community Development


Why we chose this definition:
Several definitions were tied with the one chosen but it was picked for it's broad nature and adaptability.
July 1, 2011



Discussion:

Join the wiki to comment




Current Definitions (n=29)

Definition: 1.UNDP defined 'capacity building' as the creation of an enabling environment with appropriate policy and legal frameworks, institutional development, including community participation (of women in particular), human resources development and strengthening of managerial systems, adding that, UNDP recognizes that capacity building is a long-term, continuing process, in which all stakeholders participate (ministries, local authorities, non-governmental organizations and water user groups, professional associations, academics and others.
Definition: 2. The WCO defines capacity building as "activities which strengthen the knowledge, abilities, skills and behaviour of individuals and improve institutional structures and processes such that the organization can efficiently meet its mission and goals in a sustainable way."
Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_building
Focus: International Aid

Definition 3: Capacity building for a not-for-profit organization has often been defined as activities or actions that increase and sustain its effectiveness. These can include good governance, solid leadership, a clear mission, vision and values, responsive program development, diversified revenue and strong management support systems. As a result of this project’s findings, OTF plans to expand its definition of organizational capacity building for the purpose of grantmaking. This new and broader definition is that organizational capacity building is a process that strengthens four interrelated pillars – the relevance, responsiveness, effectiveness and resilience of not-for-profit organizations. At the heart of this new definition is the recognition that organizations strive to build their capacity by becoming more effective themselves and through their interaction with their communities. Organizational capacity building is inextricably linked with community capacity building. When organizations build their own capacity, they help build healthy and vibrant communities at the same time.
Source: http://www.trilliumfoundation.org/User/Docs/CC/ExecSumFinal_E.pdf
Focus: Non- Profit Organizations

Definition 4: Capacity Building: Intentional actions and initiatives that support us to become the best we can be – as individuals and as communities. And a little more detail: The word "capacity" speaks to our potential – as people, and as communities. So, when we talk about capacity, we are talking about that which we have the potential to become. Capacity building is about change, about becoming more. A comprehensive, integrated approach to capacity building nurtures excellence, expansion and positive change in all areas of human experience. By building social, environmental, economic, physical, psychological, spiritual, and cultural capacity, we are able to address the potential of the whole person within the whole community. Sometimes the changes in capacity we hope to achieve will include individual knowledge, behaviours, skills, and techniques. We also want to give a boost to policies and infrastructure, funding, staffing and other helpful resources. We value these capacities as concrete and practical, as instrumental and measurable. But we also need to be mindful of less concrete but equally critical human capacities such as individual self-awareness, attitudes, purpose, worldviews, and ethics, and how each of these capacities influences our choices and behaviours. We also want to pay attention to cultural capacities – those collective assumptions, attitudes, and worldviews that influence our life in families, groups, organizations, and in institutions such as government and the health system.
Source: http://www.bchealthycommunities.ca/Content/Capacity%20Building/Definitions.asp#CapacityBuilding
Focus: Community Development

Definition 5: Efforts aimed to develop human skills or societal infrastructures within a community or organization needed to reduce the level of risk. In extended understanding, capacity building also includes development of institutional, financial, political and other resources, such as technology at different levels and sectors of the society.
Source: http://www.adrc.or.jp/publications/terminology/top.htm
Focus: Disaster Risk Management

Definition 6: The term used repeatedly in the Doha Declaration referring to the assistance to be provided to developing countries in establishing and administering their trade policies, conducting analysis, and identifying their interests in trade negotiations.
Source: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~alandear/glossary/c.html
Focus: International Economics

Definition 7: Capacity building means any facilitating scheme for the effective implementation of this protocol, in particular the strengthening and/or development of trained human resources and institutional capacities in terms of techniques and skills necessary to carry out the assessment and management of risks associated with living modified organisms or products thereof, and to implement the procedure of advance informed agreement. Source: African Region
Description: Capacity building is the strengthening and/or development of human resources and institutional capacities. It involves the transfer of know-how, the development of appropriate facilities, training in sciences related to safety in biotechnology and in the use of risk assessment and management techniques. Source: Cuba
Description: Capacity building is the strengthening and/or development of human resources and institutional capacities. Source: UNEP International Technical Guidelines for Safety in Biotechnology
Source: http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/library/glossarylist_en.cfm?Init=C
Focus: Biology and Society

Definition 8: Capacity Building is the process of building the potential for voluntary organizations to respond to the needs of the community they serve.
Source: http://www.envision.ca/templates/profile.asp?ID=56
Focus: Volunteer Organizations

Definition 9: Capacity Building: The ability of a country to follow sustainable development paths is determined to a large extent by the capacity of its people and its institutions as well as by its ecological and geographical conditions. Specifically, capacity building encompasses the country's human, scientific, technological, organizational, institutional and resource capabilities.
Source: http://www.oilandgasforum.net/oefonline/glossary.htm
Focus: Oil and Gas Industry

Definition 10: Capacity building is the development of the skills and activities of individuals in an organisation to their full capacity. It means investment made with the purpose of enhancing the ability of individuals to achieve their development goals.
Source: http://www.epaw.co.uk/homegloss.html
Focus: Environmental Sustainablility

Definition 11: Capacity building is"The development of sustainable skills, organisational structures, resources and commitment to health improvement in health and other sectors, to prolong and multiply health gains many times over".
Source: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/public-health/health-promotion/abouthp/glossary.html
Focus: Health Promotion

Definition 12: Capacity building is about ensuring that organisations have the skills, knowledge, structures and resources to realise their full potential.
Source: http://www.hcvs.org.uk/en/pages/hcvs/jargon-buster/default.aspx
Focus: Volunteer Organizations

Definition 13: There are a variety of definitions for capacity building. Perhaps the most fundamental definition is "actions that improve nonprofit effectiveness" (from Investing in Capacity Building by Barbara Blumenthal, published by The Foundation Center). Some other discussions about capacity building refer to the concept as actions that enhance a nonprofit's ability to work towards its mission.
Source: http://www.managementhelp.org/org_perf/capacity.htm
Focus: Non-Profit Organizations

Definition 14: [Definition #1:]"Specifically, capacity building encompasses the country’s human, scientific, technological, organizational, institutional and resource capabilities. A fundamental goal of capacity building is to enhance the ability to evaluate and address the crucial questions related to policy choices and modes of implementation among development options, based on an understanding of environment potentials and limits and of needs perceived by the people of the country concerned". [Capacity Building - Agenda 21’s definition (Chapter 37, UNCED, 1992.)]
Definition :15 In 1991, UNDP and the International Institute for Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering organized the symposium 'A Strategy for Water Sector Capacity Building' in Delft, The Netherlands. Delegates from developing countries, ESAs and supporting institutes defined 'capacity building' as: [1] the creation of an enabling environment with appropriate policy and legal frameworks; [2] institutional development, including community participation (of women in particular); [3] human resources development and strengthening of managerial systems. UNDP recognizes that capacity building is a long-term, continuing process, in which all stakeholders participate (ministries, local authorities, non-governmental organizations and water user groups, professional associations, academics and others). [UNDP Briefing Paper]

Definition 16:Capacity Building is much more than training and includes the following: [1] 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. [2] 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). [3] 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. ...[The Urban Capacity Building Network]

Definition 17: In its broadest interpretation, capacity building encompasses human resource development (HRD) as an essential part of development. It is based on the concept that education and training lie at the heart of development efforts and that without HRD most development interventions will be ineffective. It focuses on a series of actions directed at helping participants in the development process to increase their knowledge, skills and understandings and to develop the attitudes needed to bring about the desired developmental change. [The Food and Agricultural Organization]

Definition 18: Another essential mechanism for capacity building is partnership development. Partnerships give a local NGO access to: knowledge and skills; innovative and proven methodologies; networking and funding opportunities; replicable models for addressing community needs and managing resources; options for organizational management and governance; and strategies for advocacy, government relations and public outreach. [Counterpart International]
Source: http://www.gdrc.org/uem/capacity-define.html
Focus: Urban Environmental Management

Definition 19: Capacity building is the development of an organization’s core skills and capabilities, such as leadership, management, finance and fundraising, programs and evaluation, in order to build the organization’s effectiveness and sustainability. It is the process of assisting an individual or group to identify and address issues and gain the insights, knowledge and experience needed to solve problems and implement change. Capacity building is facilitated through the provision of technical support activities, including coaching, training, specific technical assistance and resource networking.
Source: http://www.tcwf.org/pub_reflections/2001/april/pages/definition_of_capacity_building.htm
Focus: Health Promotion

Definition 20 : Based on responses from the preliminary surveys, the following is a selected list of participant definitions of capacity building: [1] An individual and organizational learning process that involves reflection, analysis, skill building, networking and action all aimed at increasing the knowledge, imagination, vision and impact of an organization and the individuals involved in it [2] Helping to strengthen human rights organizations or human rights work. [3] The strengthening and empowering of human rights defenders and actors to enable them to be more effective both nationally and internationally. [4] A process of collective self-reflection which utilizes skill building, academic study, on site learning and hands on advocacy to empower emerging leaders to address pressing human rights concerns. [5] The opportunity to exchange contents in human rights among activists in order to enhance their capacity to deal with and propose solutions to gross human rights violations in their countries. [6] Sharing methodologies and strategies for policy based advocacy with civil organizations, grassroots leaders, communities based organizations, and groups/ coalitions that are involved or have the potential to be involved in advocacy initiatives. [7] Cooperation with local NGOs, women's associations and other independent civil society actors working on human rights issues. [8] The transfer of skills and expertise on various aspects of human rights including international human rights instruments, procedures, and advocacy. [9] Developing a wide range of advocacy skills, communications and integrating target-groups into domestic and international advocacy networks. [10] Usually, but not always, providing funding - general operating funds to individuals or organizations doing the main human rights work.
Source: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/humanrights/publications/capacity/capacity_03.htm
Focus: Human Rights Organizations

Definition 21: Means by which skills, experience, technical and management capacity are developed within an organizational structure (contractors, consultants or contracting agencies) - often through the provision of technical assistance, short/long-term training, and specialist inputs (e.g., computer systems). The process may involve the development of human, material and financial resources.
Source: http://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.asp?ID=5103
Focus: Statistics

Definition 22: Planned development of (or increase in) knowledge, output rate, management, skills, and other capabilities of an organization through acquisition, incentives, technology, and/or training.
Source: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/capacity-building.html
Focus: Business Management

Definition 23: Specifically, capacity building encompasses the country’s human, scientific, technological, organizational, institutional and resource capabilities. A fundamental goal of capacity building is to enhance the ability to evaluate and address the crucial questions related to policy choices and modes of implementation among development options, based on an understanding of environment potentials and limits and of needs perceived by the people of the country concerned.
Source: http://www.encora.eu/coastalwiki/Capacity_Building_definition
Focus: International Development

Definition 24: Capacity 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."
Source: http://www.allianceonline.org/about/capacity_building_and_1.page
Focus: Non Profit Organizations

Definition 25: In this paper, a working definition of capacity building is: People helping people to build skills to change their own future. Skills can be built a number of levels, including at the level of the individual, organization, community or system.
Source: http://www.iied.org/mmsd/mmsd_pdfs/033_gibson.pdf
Focus: Communities & Sustainable Development

Definition 26: Concern defines capacity building as an approach to programming which emphasises enabling and strengthening of individuals, groups, organisations, networks and institutions to increase their ability to cope with crises and to contribute long-term to the elimination of poverty.
Source: http://www.concern.net/docs/CapacityBuildingPolicy.pdf
Focus: International Development

Definition 27: Capacity building is a dedication to the strengthening of economies, governments, institutions and individuals through education, training, mentoring, and the infusion of resources. Capacity building aims at developing secure, stable, and sustainable structures, systems and organizations, with a particular emphasis on using motivation and inspiration for people to improve their lives. Must be responsive to expressed needs of those to be served.
Source: http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/Talya-31166-WSIS-WFEO-CAPACITY-BUILDING-INFORMATION-SOCIETY-Economic-Development-Definition-as-Entertainment-ppt-powerpoint/
Focus: Engineeing and Development

Definition 28: The definition used to describe capacity building within health promotion is: "the development of sustainable skills, structures, resources and commitment to health improvement in health and other sectors to prolong and multiply health gains many times over".
Source: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/public-health/health-promotion/capacity-building/key-questions/what-is.html
Focus: Health Promotion

Definition 29: The Workshop on Capacity Building in Land Administration for Developing Countries, held at the ITC, The Netherlands, November 2000 (Groot and van der Molen 2000) adopted the following definition of capacity building: “The development of knowledge, skills and attitudes in individuals and groups of people relevant in design, development, management and maintenance of institutional and operational infrastructures and processes that are locally meaningful”
Source: http://www.sli.unimelb.edu.au/research/publications/IPW/Capacity%20Building%20for%20SDIs%20(UNRCCAP%20Jul%2003).doc
Focus: Spatial Data Infrastructures