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What’s hidden between the lines of “Capacity Building”

February 20, 2023


What is Capacity Building for NGOs?

Capacity building is an essential procedure for organizations and communities that helps them attain one important target -Functioning effectively!

After examining some of the social and cultural challenges that makes it difficult for NGOs to execute successful capacity-building programs, the conclusion stated that effective capacity building is not only achievable but can also have a meaningful and visible impact.

Taking into account the performance quality, the accomplishment of actual results over time and the appropriate use of scarce resources, this effective program involves creating and enhancing abilities, systems, and assets that are most needed in today's fast evolving world. Altogether, so all NGOs can accomplish their mission successfully.

Why Capacity Building?

The importance of capacity building is related to how much you would like to remain successful, stay up-to-date and, of course, make the best out of what you already have.

The amazing NGO guru David Korten using the analysis of Michael Edward and David Hulme explained capacity building by the example below:

“You see a baby drowning, so you jump in and save it.

You see a second and third drowning, you do the same.

Soon, you are so preoccupied with saving drowning babies that you fail to realize someone is tossing them into the river.”

This comparison clearly conveys that success in little projects is not enough to manage the expanding demands. In order to face any upcoming challenges, Capacity Building will let you settle on the right track.

Is your organization ready to take up new capacities?

Understand each member as well as understanding your organization. In this new family you are directing, each individual is unique. Every person possesses his own skills, capabilities, educational level and his own way of understanding, processing and acting towards any matter.

When it comes to evolving, it is essential to assign and re-assign members to the most suitable position that meets their capabilities and fulfill the position’s requirements. By such a start, you are supporting, acknowledging, and leading members to do their best in a description that matches their abilities -Skill is better than strength.

Appreciate the best qualities of each member by directing them to cover the needs of the organization. This process will lead all individuals to apply their best into the essential training programs that now is considered a must.

After this fair, full trusted distribution, meeting the organization’s needs and its members, a clearer perspective takes place.

That’s the beginning of change…

Capacity building program is not only staff training!

The idea of capacity building is frequently linked to the idea of improving or growing skills and competences at the individual level, staff training. On the other hand, and in order to assure a sustainable change process, training alone is not enough!

Capacity building covers various clusters, including individuals, organizations and society, and should be viewed from a systemic viewpoint. The individual part covers the process of imparting knowledge and developing skills while maximizing the advantages of participation, knowledge exchange, and ownership.

While training is an extremely important part of this development, there’s much more.

On this mentioned level of training programs, business development activities, discussions of specific topics and workshops should take place. On the other hand, the organizational part focuses on the institution’s overall performance, functional capabilities, as well as the ability to adapt to change. In which the development of internal policies, organizational and procedural restructuring should be a must.

Last but not least, at the systematic cluster, it highlights the broad framework of policies within which people and organizations function and engage with the outside world. In this part, advocacy initiatives, consultations, open dialogue and reforms should of course take place.

Impact of Capacity Building on individuals towards the organization

Each individual, organization and country is different from others, as a result of its pre-existing historical, legal, economic and social background. Due to those mentioned differences, the impact of the capacity building program will vary upon each’s “biography”.

Still one thing is common, the thirst for success.

If you are looking to enhance your organizational performance and productivity, search no further than investing in Capacity Building.

According to loads of research conducted on different societies and many organizations, this program covers each employee's deficiencies and develops the traits and skills that will help them accomplish suitable tasks effectively.

In addition to mentioning the important role that those in managerial positions play to help build up employees’ capacities, and create a suitable and effective workplace environment.

By following capacity building programs, organizations seek employee retention to motivate its members to work hard, be more dedicated and stick to their commitment towards the organization for a long term.

Impact of Capacity Building on organizations towards its society

NGOs are often accountable not just to funders, but also to governments, national and/or local communities, and beneficiaries. In order to reach more people in need, organizations need to be more strengthened. Appropriate and responsible organizations aim to address both and consider responsibility as an important component of their organizational goal.

To achieve a long-term goal, to develop and meet the funders’ needs, and help as many people as possible, non-governmental organizations must adapt capacity building.

In addition to the increase in performance, better services and cost management efficiencies, this program will also help their organization respond to high-level requests for demonstrable evidence that their work is indeed serving the public interest.

Most common challenges between NGOs

Regardless of the themes, NGOs are focused on providing help and support for further growth. However, these organizations confront many challenges that undermine their effectiveness to which they are not always prepared for.

Most common challenges for NGOs are:

● Lack of Strategic Planning

Many NGOs suffer from a lack of a clear, strategic plan that would enable success in their operations and objectives. NGOs are incapable of anticipating what they will accomplish in one or two months.

The diversity of their bright ideas may come to place, but appear to be like one-time shots, which drives them away from their initial purpose. Although single events happen when trying to diversify activities without falling into monotony, still one-time events are not enough to make a change. It only blurs NGO’s public function.

Unwillingness of Networking

Although it is banal, activists appear to build their NGOs as a "closed universe", considering others as competitors instead of considering their goals mutual and act together in order to be more efficient.

For various reasons, those organizations feel that collaborating with other NGOs will increase their competitiveness when applying for funds. One of the primary issues that leads to duplicated efforts, time wastage, and an inability to learn from experience is poor and unstructured networking.

“Strength through unity” -Aesop’s Fable of The Bundle of Sticks.

The more NGOs connect with one another, with INGOs, and with the wider population, the more effective they can all be.

Lack of Funds

Accessing appropriate donors is a major challenge. Non-Governmental Organizations are always trying to maintain contact with their beneficiaries to be able to remain in progress, and help more people and communities. Grant providers want to always support NGOs' causes, but they simply may see more potential in another organization and decide to shift their priorities, withdraw funding and help it instead. Not having enough funds will jeopardy an NGO given that there are also many operational costs.

Do not let challenges undermine your organization’s effectiveness


After this clear demonstration of what’s hidden between the lines of “Capacity Building”, all you need for establishing or enhancing your organization is step 1!

Reach out to so you will be able to neutralize all issues, face all challenges, reach your long-term goals and make the best out of your organization.



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