The course enabled me widen my understanding of different approaches to capacity development. I have been able to review our organizational understanding of capacity development within the context of our beneficiaries and target groups. Most importantly, applying the questions - why capacity development and for whom - has enabled my team and I to review how we view capacity development and reflect on areas of improvement, especially the need to carry out organizational capacity assessments right at the beginning of a program as opposed to mid-way or towards the end.
Harriet Kongin, Adviser, Policy and Strategy, UNAIDS Kenya (April 2015)
Capacity development has been emerging as a central approach within development for more than two decades. This approach has gradually shifted the focus of development practice from simple financial aid and technical cooperation towards a complex new paradigm that encourages and demands active involvement and ownership from the people and communities involved in aid programmes. The approach takes into account the broader political, social, and economic environment in which change takes place. Capacity development co-exists and is supported by older forms of development practice, and is a continuously shifting paradigm as experience informs policy, practice and theory.
To help you better understand and master this complex paradigm, this course introduces the key concepts, principles and values of capacity development. The main focus is on building practical skills for better design, planning, implementation and assessment of capacity development initiatives.