Reflecting on TCC Group's 35-year history of designing, managing, and evaluating capacity building in a variety of formats, it is clear to us and to those with whom we work that the field is ready for an evolution in the ways we talk about capacity building. A foundation has already been laid for this new conversation by the diverse and thoughtful practice of many in the sector. We hope that by identifying the issues and providing a framework for discussion, we can enable the field to further advance capacity-building strategy and practice, thereby enhancing the work of a wider range of dedicated and conscientious actors looking to have a positive impact on society.
This paper is organized in the following way: The first section, "A Basic Distinction," covers fundamental concepts, terms, and definitions of capacity and capacity building critical to our discussion. The second section, entitled "An Evolution in the Who," examines who needs to build capacity and how that understanding has evolved over time. The third section, entitled "An Evolution in the What," assesses how capacity in capacity-building has evolved, arriving at a new "organizational actualization" framework. The fourth section, "An Evolution in the How," highlights the emergence of new methods for accomplishing capacity building and details the new innovations and techniques that are being used by those doing effective capacity building.