The purpose of capacity building is to promote the improvement of individual or organizational business capabilities. This is a problem that needs to be considered from a systematic perspective. Its scope is broader than training and involves different groups, including individuals, organizations and society.
“Capacity building” is generally considered to be the process of developing and strengthening the abilities of individuals, organizations and societies to survive, adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world. The origin of this concept dates back to the last century. And in this century, it has gradually become widely used under the promotion of some international organizations and government agencies.
The United Nations is one of the main promoters of the concept of “capacity building”. In 2015, 193 member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and officially launched it on January 1, 2016. This is a programmatic document of the United Nations, including 17 sustainable development goals. Among them, “capacity building” is the core component of “Goal 17. Strengthening implementation means and revitalizing global partnerships for sustainable development”.
According to the definition of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): “Globally, capacity refers to the ability of individuals and institutions to make and implement decisions and perform functions effectively, efficiently and sustainably. At the individual level, capacity building refers to the process of changing attitudes and behaviors – imparting knowledge and developing skills while maximizing the benefits of participation, knowledge exchange and ownership. At the institutional level, it focuses on the overall performance and operational capabilities of organizations as well as their ability to adapt to change. At the system level, it emphasizes the overall policy framework in which individuals and organizations operate and interact with their external environment.”
The World Bank, United Nations and European Commission describe “capacity building” as including five areas: clear policy frameworks, institutional development and legal frameworks, citizen/democratic participation and oversight, human resource improvement including education and training, and sustainability.
Therefore, the scope of “capacity building” is much broader than training. The purpose of “capacity building” is to promote the improvement of individual or organizational business capabilities. This is a problem that needs to be considered from a systematic perspective. It involves different groups, including individuals, organizations and society. It emphasizes a sustainable internal change process that will continue to develop and improve over time.