Global Audience of 500 Explores Design, Delivery, and Evaluation of Capacity-Building

More than 500 people from 67 countries recently convened online to discuss “Improving the Design, Delivery and Evolution of Capacity Building,” in a LeaderNet seminar facilitated by the MSH-led AIDSTAR-Two project. Capacity-building is a long-term process that improves the performance and sustainability of an individual, group, or organization for better health results.

The seminar was structured around a paper recently released by AIDSTAR-Two, Challenges Encountered in Capacity Building: Review of Literature and Selected Tools, which calls for the recognition of capacity-building as a fundamental part of development interventions and for a greater rigor and sustainability of capacity-building interventions in the field.

"An organization with capacity is like a tree with a good root system, it is a living system sustained and energized by myriad forces and factors in its environment.”
— Susan A. Opurum, Nigeria

The online event sparked discussions from health professionals and development practitioners about issues such as:

  • Understanding that capacity-building is broader than training—it includes coaching, mentoring, leadership and governance development, organizational design, policy change, and knowledge management.

  • Developing, adapting, and sharing tools, processes, techniques, and approaches to address communities’ complex realities.

  • Overcoming barriers to measuring the outcomes and impact of capacity-building and sharing those results in order to enhance development work in this area.

  • Basing capacity-building on a participatory needs analysis of the organization and balancing longer-term improvements against the quick results that many donors expect.

  • Urging donors to take risks and support new tactics in capacity-building.

  • Determining what makes an effective capacity-builder—our inherent and learned qualities, and technical skills.

“…capacity-building should not be a quick fix just to satisfy donors, but (should) emanate from within the organization during implementation of a project or conducted prior to project.”
— Daudi Mkoma, Tanzania

Participant evaluations from the seminar were overwhelmingly favorable.  The capacity-building event was one of the largest virtual seminars held on MSH’s LeaderNet platform to date. LeaderNet is an online community of continuous learning for health professionals, managers, facilitators, and technical experts who are interested in improving their management and leadership skills, as well as these capacities within their own organizations or programs.  Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French, LeaderNet’s virtual seminars have reached more than 3,000 people in 140 countries. Readings, discussion, and daily summaries for this and other seminars are in the LeaderNet resources archives .

LeaderNet seminars and resources are free and open to the public. 

For more information about Leadernet and to register


AIDSTAR-Two offers proven strategies for magnifying the impact of HIV & AIDS programs, delivering organizational capacity-building with an emphasis on management, leadership, governance, and overall organizational development. The AIDSTAR-Two Consortium is composed of MSH; International HIV/AIDS Alliance; Cardno Emerging Markets; Health and Development Africa; Initiatives, Inc.; Save the Children; and Religions for Peace.



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