There is emerging consensus that capacity is development. At Captiva Africa LLC, we anchor our capacity building engagements on the premise that people are best empowered to realize their full potential when the means of development are long-term, home-grown, and generated and managed by those who stand to benefit from it.
Our approach to organization development emphasizes “best fit” for the context rather than “best practice” as one size does not fit all. We encourage clients to make the best of local resources in particular people, skills, technologies and institutions.
We modify and apply commercial sector tools in our approach to capacity building. For example, our engagements will start with conversations with the key stakeholders to ensure they are committed to the process and invested in its success. We then conduct an Organization Needs Assessment - an iterative and participatory process during which we seek to identify an entity’s key strengths and weaknesses. The Needs Assessment will cover such areas as visioning and strategic planning, structure, people, governance, infrastructure that supports programs, systems, fundraising and M&E.
Our approach values “best fit” for the context rather than “best practice” as one size does not fit all.
The results of the Needs Assessment form the basis of developing a Capacity Development Plan in which we set out various activities, resources, milestones and timelines. Some of the activities may be implemented internally by the client whilst the others may require varying degrees of technical assistance.
From our experience organization development activities are most effective when delivered through such mutually reinforcing mechanisms as technical assistance, training, peer-learning and mentoring.
More often than note our capacity building engagements will be anchored on some or all of the following four pillars:
Accountability allows entities to monitor, learn, self-regulate and adjust their behaviour in interaction with those to whom they are accountable. We work with entities to institute systems and mechanisms to engage stakeholders, capture and utilize their feedback as well as the capacities of the stakeholders to interface via the accountability platforms.
Whilst the ability to anticipate and respond to change can exist is commonly associated with individuals, it is also exist at an organizational level or within the enabling environment. It is also the ability to influence, motivate and inspire others to achieve their goals. For example a CSO or governmental agency may drive leadership for change systemic change.
Knowledge underpins people’s capacities. We help client’s foster knowledge at the individual level through learning as well as at the organizational through on the job-training and creating an enabling environment.
We partner with clients in developing learning action-feedback loops to help them understand, guide and document the journey in the implementation of programs and not just the outcomes. As programs develop we support the clients in developing and refining the process tools that will enable replication in other geographies. This ensures that learning is flexible and adaptive
Institutional arrangements comprise the policies, practices and systems that allow for effective functioning of an entity. We support clients assess and set priorities for strengthening the institutional arrangements of their organizations.
During the assessments we have often found that entities are inefficient because of weak policies, resource management, organization, leadership, frameworks and communication. We partner with clients to address these gaps in the institutional arrangements with a focus in the following areas: