Capacity building is a process and starts with the definition of needs and the obstacles that inhibit governments, organisations and people from realising their developmental objectives and achieve effective results. It is an on-going evidence driven process of strengthening the abilities of individuals, organizations, and or systems to perform core functions sustainably, and to continue to improve and develop over time.
Capacity Building includes all those actions approaches, strategies, and methodologies that help institutions, organizations and human resources to improve their performance, generate development benefits, achieve their objectives and maintain the results over time. The success of Capacity Building actions is measured in terms of sustainability.
The European Commission describes Capacity Building as working “to develop and strengthen structures, institutions and procedures that help to ensure: transparent and accountable governance in all public institutions; improve capacity to analyze, plan, formulate and implement policies in economic, social, environmental, research, science and technology fields; and in critical areas such as international negotiation.”
Capacity Building activities, tailored to each situation, include the training of human resources but are not limited to it. They comprise also technical support and other strengthening efforts directed to:
Human resource development - the process of providing 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, within organizations and, as well, the management of relationships between 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.
Since human capacity, organizational processes, and institutional frameworks are closely interrelated, and do not change quickly, capacity building efforts must necessarily be long-term and systemic.
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