Are capacity building approaches different from community development? If we accept that it is a different way of doing development what are the implications for aid programs in terms of what they...

Are capacity building approaches different from community development? If we accept that it is a different way of doing development what are the implications for aid programs in terms of what they should (and should not) do in their activities?

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Capacity building is the practice of improving the skill set of individuals, a group or community in order to enhance their lives and help them achieve their developmental goal.

Community development is the practice of a group of individuals coming together to work, as a collective responsibility, towards the development of their community and solving common problems. 

Community development can be achieved by a number of overlapping approaches and Capacity Building is one such approach. Some other approaches include economic development, social capital enhancement, sustainable development, etc. Thus, capacity building is one of the parts of community development.

This has significant implications for funding agencies. Since capacity building is part of community development, it ideally should get some share of the aid, however, there are other approaches for community development and they need to get funding as well (ex. women help groups, sustainable development, participatory research, etc.)

Hope this helps.

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