Capacity building is a “buzz word”. Capacity building is increasingly seen as a crucial component of development projects in India – e.g. World Bank projects. However, the capacity building concept is often used in a very narrow sense such as focusing on staff development through formal education and structured training programs to meet the deficit of qualified personnel in the short term. But the concept of Capacity Building should be viewed in a broader context to include the ways and means by which the overall objectives are accomplished.

The term capacity building has many different meanings and interpretations depending on who uses it and in what context. To begin with, capacity building as a concept is closely related to education, training and human resource development. This conventional concept has changed over recent years towards a broader and more holistic view, covering both institutional and area wise initiatives.

There are four broad areas which cover overall capacity building aspects of institutions. They are as follows:

1.         Human and institutional capabilities.

2.         Planning and implementation capabilities.

3.         Micro and macro dimensions.

4.         Cognitive vs. practice dimensions.

Recent research studies reveal that many institutions/Organizations are not giving highest priority to holistic or comprehensive capacity building initiatives. Seldom are they planning for the capacity assessment of the institutions/organizations for in-depth analysis for future capacity development requirements.

Capacity building obviously enhances efficiency and effectiveness of the organizations which will lead to accomplishment of goals of the institutions. Based on the stage, growth and lifecycle of the Institution needs and requirements of the capacity building will emerge. It is imperative time for institutions to allocate resources and time for the competence building of the members through capacity building interventions.

Written by Mr. B.V. Suranjana Reddy,

Senior Social Scientist, STEM

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