Capacity is the ability of societies, organizations and individuals to perform functions to solve problems so as to achieve their development objectives and goals. Capacity development is the process through which the abilities to do so are obtained, strengthened, adapted and maintained in a sustainable manner at these three levels where capacity is grown and nurtured: in an enabling environment, in organizations and within individuals. It is the enabling environment that sets the overall scope for capacity development. It includes all the rules, laws, policies, power relations and social norms that govern civic engagement. The organisational level refers to the internal structure, policies and procedures that determine an organization’s effectiveness. The knowledge, skills and experience that develop individual capacity and allow each person to perform for the organisational and societal development are largely shaped by the organizational and environmental factors. Thus the three levels influence each other; the strength of each depends on, and determines, the strength of the others.
Of late, the value of local ownership of global capacity development has been recognized. While
financial resources and technical assistance are vital in post-conflict situation of Afghanistan, these alone cannot sustain capacity development. Mostly these are donor-driven and address short-term needs, while distorting national priorities. Strong capacity, locally generated and sustained, is essential to the success of any development process. Developing countries and organizations should own, design, direct, implement and sustain the process themselves.
Adhering to the capacity development principle as outlined above, CSO has developed a comprehensive Capacity Development Plan (2011-14) in collaboration with the National Institution Building Project (NIBP) of UNDP, Afghanistan. The CDP attempts to address the critical capacity needs of CSO in an integrated and systematic manner at the three levels - enabling environment, organisational and individual. The Users, Donors and other Stakeholders may find this document informative and useful.