Learning the Lessons - Capacity Building

Sustainability | Strategic Approach | Participation | Partnership | Alignment | Capacity Building | Affordability | Transferability

‘Gaining experience and confidence so that community members can take advantage of opportunities and solve problems themselves’

One of the foundation stones for the approach adopted by Dùthchas was to assist in building the capacity of the local people to be active participants in local development. The assessment of our local staff was that we contributed to this in various ways by:

  • Encouraging active participation in all parts of the work
  • Enabling local people to participate in developing a ‘strategic plan’ for their area
  • Building know-how as to how to carry out community surveys and planning
  • Getting to know the agencies and breaking down barriers
  • Enabling understanding of the roles, remits and statutory responsibilities of agencies
  • Familiarising people with the ‘language’ used by agencies and expert bodies
  • Building connections with ‘experts’, communities and initiatives across Europe
  • Raising the profile of the Pilot Areas and their issues with policy makers across Scotland
  • Experiencing that by working together and speaking with one voice, local people can wield power with policy makers and make things happen

In the course of our work we identified the following capacity building needs of local communities:

Framing the issues for community and group action
Knowing where a community can apply leverage
Asking the right questions
Developing shared vision
Programme development and evaluation
Strategic planning
Developing outcomes and indicators of progress
Mobilising resources and getting work done
Evaluating and translating learning into policy
Gathering and managing financial resources
Fundraising and development of financial resources
Budgeting and financial management
Working together
Listening to one another
Sharing ideas, facts, experiences and feelings
Facilitation skills
Decision making and consensus building
Managing conflict to move towards shared interests
Valuing diversity and community involvement
Volunteer recruitment and management
Team building
Leadership development and delegation
Learning together
Research skills
Team learning and action research
Organisational development
Learning from other communities
Tapping the resources of others
People and organisations within the community
Partnerships with agencies and others
Links to educational resources
Working with the media

Sustainability | Strategic Approach | Participation | Partnership | Alignment | Capacity Building | Affordability | Transferability