Capacity Building is much more than Training!

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This excellent blog post by Lisa Denney of a recent report illuminates the ineffectiveness of capacity building in international development because it is overwhelmingly training that is solely skills based and does not address context with power relations and social norms.   She shares a great example of how malnutrition is thought to be reduced in Sierra Leone by training mothers how to breast feed their kids! Nothing is being done to address decision making at the household level or enhancing economic opportunities for women so that they can purchase better food—or then maybe there is not sufficient food so that needs to be looked at. Denny concludes that “in all cases, the complexity, power, and politics of the changes sought are sidestepped and turned into technical, more easily-delivered projects.”

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