Capacity-building should be understood as a whole range of ideas, approaches and development interventions rather than a single concept. It goes from purely technical input (e.g. training) via organisational development (focusing on an organisation’s systems and physical assets, but also on its people, its culture and its ability to plan for the future) and institutional development (the strengthening of links and development of the environments within which organisations exist) to a broader process involving individuals and communities in poor countries, strengthening and building their understanding and knowledge of their own needs, entitlements and rights, and enabling them to organise themselves to respond to this understanding.
Style information: APC spells this term with a hyphen in between “capacity” and “building”.
Source: “Capacity building: A buzz word or an aid to understanding?” by Ben Green and Mike Battcock, Developments Magazine, 2001