Giving Compass' Take:
- Vijaya Balaji discusses the importance of capacity building for nonprofits and offers some advice for how organizations and the sector can improve.
- What sorts of organizations are sorted to forming "learning cohorts" with one another? What role can you play in forming and supporting learning cohorts?
- Learn more about the impact of capacity building for nonprofits.
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In the last few years, the attention that organization strengthening, capacity building, or organization development has been gathering, has increased many folds. The surge in the interest has been due to the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening the institutional capacity of Not for Profit Organizations (NPOs).
While capacity building is being increasingly recognized as important investment for NPOs, historically the funding of this activity was not a focus for funders. It is only in recent times that it has begun to figure in funders’ budgets. While there is a growing acknowledgment and willingness to support organization development among the funder community, there are certain critical things that need to be addressed:
- There is an underestimation of the complexity of the capacity development challenge. Even when capacity development is an explicit goal of programmes, insufficient attention is given to how it can be achieved.
- There is a lack of a medium-term results framework to monitor progress. Capacity development is critical because under developed organisations and under-skilled individuals can be the cause of failure for the development efforts ... Often, there is the need to have small rigorous engagements which means working with groups as a learning cohort.
- There is a lack of a shared language and definition around capacity building. Currently there aren’t enough platforms for shared learning which can lead to better amalgamation of efforts as opposed to current fragmentation both at the delivery and funding side. This often leads to overlaps.
Read the full article about capacity building by Vijaya Balaji at AVPN