Beyond “Capacity Building”: Crafting Partnerships Based on Equality [nonprofitquarterly.org]

 

Global organizations are more sophisticated than ever in working together to address complex problems. Why are so many funders still using the outdated “capacity building” model?

Capacity-building was born from a good intention: to develop and strengthen the ability of organizations and communities to do or expand their work. Funders invested in, for example, the transfer of technical assistance to groups perceived to be lacking expertise or capacity in a given area. Ultimately, the aim was to strengthen the ability of the recipient groups to work independently and sustainably. But having worked for nearly two decades with donors and global institutions, I can say that there are different models of capacity building, and some of the frameworks are outdated.

Such capacity building models create power dynamics that often set non-governmental organizations up to fail. In some cases, they don’t build capacity in a meaningful way at all, but instead prolong dependence. Instead of supporting self-owned, community-led strategies for change, the result reinforces existing power dynamics.

[For more on this story by PRITI KRISHTEL, go to https://nonprofitquarterly.org...s-based-on-equality/]

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