About the GDRC:
Capacity Building Policy

Capacity building is the starting point, and a necessary ingredient for success of many global goals such as human security and sustainable development. Well developed and implemented capacity building initiatives lead to the effective development of human potential, which eventually results in better decision-making and all-round development.

Figure 1: Capacity Building that aims at the development of global human security and development

GDRC's capacity building policy aims (a) to upgrade knowledge, communication and managerial skills necessary to address more effectively the emerging issues in its programme themes; and (b) to promote information dissemination among local communities, policy makers, academics, researchers, and other institutions.

To operationalize this policy, GDRC looks at capacity building as a process that involves value added instruction, the training of trainers, activities with multiplier effects, and networking. This involves both institutional capacity-building, as well as human capacity-building.

The 15 programmes of GDRC targets [WHO] individuals, communities, businesses, industries, institutions/organizations and governments at different levels of decision-making and governance; [WHAT] in order to access udnerstand and apply information and knowledge; [WHY] in being able to contribute to sustainable development.

Figure 2: The who, what and why of capacity building

Some of the objectives (targetting both individual and community levels) that drive such an approach include:

building a knowledge base and awareness which facilitates better decision-making
improving individual health, literacy and other skills required to adapt to differing and changing circumstances
integrating laws, policies and strategies which encourage sustainable development, including environmental integrity
improving management practices and techniques
fostering institutions that foster and support partnerships and cooperative arrangements
developing appropriate infrastructure and technology to support sustainable development
identifying and promoting sustainable financing mechanisms

Figure 3: Capacity building at different levels

Such capacity building is takes place at the individual or group levels (covering skills and knowledge requirements), at the institutional or organizational levels (covering operational and administrative aspects), and at the strategic or systemic level (covering legal political, economic frameworks).

This is inspired from the need for a holistic overview of ecosystems that sustain all life forms; a basic education in social sciences and systems; skills in gathering information; and finally the capacity to identify problems - understanding a problem is part of finding the solution

One outcome of GDRC Capacity Building policy is the range of products targetting different audiences, depending on their needs. As illustrated above, a core pool of information from websites, help-desk queries and networking, is used to create a portfolio of products for the target audience at the local level:
For the 'decision-making group' consisting of mayors, local government officials and urban managers, GDRC produces info-sheets, short guides and docuements.
For the 'development and implementation group' consisting of engineers, urban managers, research and training institutions, etc., GDRC facilitates and produces guides, manuals and training kits.
For the 'pressure and advocacy group' consisting of NGOs, community groups, professional organizations etc., GDRC facilitates and produces workbooks, checklists, indicators and other lists.