Real Capacity Building: More Than Simple Training Programs
An often underappreciated and misunderstood concept, capacity building, plays an integral role in assuring sustainable organizational development. It is much more than simple, once-off training of staff. Instead, genuine capacity building involves long-term, continuous processes that mandate participation by stakeholders at all levels. With improved capacity, clients are better suited to evaluate and address crucial policy questions, implementation choices and beneficiary needs.
Capacity building heightens client knowledge, abilities and understanding, while also reshaping attitudes. CAMRIS integrates capacity building components into its project work by emphasizing a comprehensive, adaptable methodology to meet ever-changing client needs. Believing that training and education are at the core of development endeavors, CAMRIS encourages human resource development that allows individuals to effectively perform. At the organizational level, our clients benefit from improved management structure and systems, in addition to elaboration of inter-organizational relationships. CAMRIS also works to enhance institutional and legal frameworks by reviewing regulatory standards and altering those that can allow for a more enabling environment.
CAMRIS implements capacity building across a range of projects in different parts of the world. CAMRIS provides capacity development advisors and related experts who serve to solidify staff capabilities in directing and overseeing programs worldwide. Through trainings and other interventions the CAMRIS team provides resources, facilitates knowledge sharing, maximizes learning opportunities and grows organizational development.
When clients need to add capacity to execute their mission, CAMRIS weaves solutions that increase client capabilities. We increase your capabilities through our service delivery tracks, which include:
Program and project design and implementation
Organization (agency, bureau, mission, implementing partners)
Delivery of high quality baseline through end of project evaluations
Monitoring and evaluation
Repair schools and work with the Mali Ministry of Education to restore educational services for children in conflict-affected regions of the country by overcoming the destruction of physical and institutional infrastructure caused by armed conflict, crisis, and natural disasters. Stregthen community resilience and improve access to and equity in education. Promote good water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices in conflict-affected regions of Mali.
CAMRIS assessed education facilities to determine what schools required improvement by conducting a rapid assessment on construction needs, selecting five sites for new construction, and sixty schools for rehabilitation. CAMRIS took a grassroots approach by forming partnerships with local communities and together selecting where to build schools within Mali’s conflict-affected regions. In addition to building schools, this project provides educational and recreational supplies to existing schools.
CAMRIS is revitalizing School Based Associations to re-engage in school management, preventing violence and abuse in the educational system, empowering teachers to conduct conflict and gender-sensitive learning, improving community led activities to support enrollment and regular attendance of children in vulnerable groups, and creating sustainable solutions to strengthen the capacity of central and local education staff. Additionally, CAMRIS promotes good WASH practices in Mali.
The CAMRIS team has built five new schools, rehabilitated dozens of schools, and improved WASH practices in conflict-affected regions of Mali. Furthermore, the resources provided have increased communities’ resilience and improved access to and the quality of education for children.
Develop an integrated nutrition framework to provide a clear roadmap and initiate capacity building for short- and long-term nutrition investments in Zambia, which ranks among the world’s worst in rates of undernutrition, malnutrition, and child nutritional stunting.
A comprehensive assessment of the dimensions and causes of undernutrition in Zambia, including:
- Current policy environment, programs, and resources.
- Human resource capacities.
- Optional delivery mechanisms for nutrition services and products.
- Involvement of country-level stakeholders, including other donors and private sector.
- Management structure and capacity of U.S. Government donor support, including its comparative advantage.
The CAMRIS team developed an integrated framework for repositioning nutrition and food security through:
- Capacity building and institutional strengthening in the areas of training and program roll-out.
- Strengthening agricultural extension.
- Upgrading professional nutrition training.
- Facilitating a nutrition advocacy initiative.
Build in-country technical expertise at Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) locations in sub-Saharan Africa to improve data received by policymakers and program managers.
Sustained workforce capacity building at the individual and institutional levels, addressing the specific needs of the data capture process. CAMRIS teams built and improved capacity through:
- Partnerships with training institutions.
- Local and regional workshops.
- Trainee follow-up.
CAMRIS DHS personnel helped their in-country counterparts in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe follow “best practices” using up-to-date methodologies, tools, and processes. CAMRIS staff provided training in conducting surveys and advised data collectors and users in gathering, analyzing, translating, packaging, disseminating, and presenting data in appropriate formats to inform policymakers and program managers.
Help USAID/Mozambique build local NGO capacity for qualitative evaluation of community-based HIV/AIDS prevention activities and messages aimed at reducing the practice of multiple concurrent sexual partnerships.
Training for staff of the Foundation for Community Development (FDC), a local NGO, on qualitative evaluation. A CAMRIS monitoring and evaluation (M&E) expert provided the training, which covered:
- Evaluation design
- Results analysis
- Dissemination of findings
The training enabled FDC to carry out and complete a crucial programmatic evaluation of prevention activities and messages aimed at reducing multiple concurrent partnerships. The M&E expert further provided technical oversight of rapid qualitative evaluation of collected data.
USAID used the evaluation findings to prioritize and design future interventions aimed at specific epidemic drivers, particularly multiple concurrent sexual partnerships. The findings also facilitated procurement decisions and helped USAID identify new prospective partner organizations.
Significantly and sustainably strengthen the capacity of USAID-supported civil society organizations (CSOs) to deliver HIV/AIDS, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), and related health services.
Strengthen ability of CSO district-level systems and local governments to coordinate and provide HIV/AIDS services in hard-to-reach areas
A framework for collaborating with larger CSOs with national affiliates, with special attention to:
- Strengthening management systems.
- Improving support to affiliates.
- Building affiliates’ management capacity.
Reviews of national- and district-level information/communication technologies and capacity-building tools and systems provided insights on:
- Advancing computer literacy.
- Increasing timely and thorough information sharing.
- Bolstering district-level government institutions.
USAID/Botswana used the CAMRIS findings to inform its Civil Society Strengthening Project and to build capacity in CSOs engaged in HIV/AIDS and OVC support.
Enhance the planning, management, and reporting of projects implemented in Iraq by the Office of Capacity Building and Development (OCBD) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
An assessment of practices and procedures for improving information use in OCBD projects. The assessment focused on improving OCBD’s ability to:
Identify and define project strategies and objectives at a results level
Develop performance indicators to facilitate the collection of performance data
Manage effectively and report on project and program results
The assessment served as the basis for a revised planning and management approach for the OCBD Iraq program and provided structure for an OCBD training event.