Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Building Capacity for Making a Sustainable Change

Over the past three months, our main focus has been on the Phase2 launch activities that include teacher training activities and hardware installation in schools. Without doubt, this is the top priority for our project at this point. However, it may be worthwhile to balance the reactive execution with proactive planning at this point. As part of the proactive planning, in this article, we are sharing some of our perspectives on building capacity at various levels to translate the vision of the project.

Capacity building is a continuous process

Often capacity building and training are misinterpreted to be the same - but they aren’t. Capacity building is a continuous process loop with multiple interventions such as training, self learning, assessment and feedback.

Aimed to translate the vision of the project

As you may already know the vision of the ‘Learn, Out of the Box’ programme is: “To enhance teaching and learning in low income classrooms with the help of technology as a teaching tool”. To be able to achieve this vision across the team structure, each entity should constantly review and build its own capacity to support the next link to translate the vision of the project forward across links.


Assessing the capacity needs at team and individual levels

While researching on this topic we came across an interesting framework that is being used at the UNESCO-International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA)[1] which might help us start thinking about the capacity needs across the team structure.

The framework looks at individual and team level capacities differently and suggests a capacity building matrix containing a series of questions to align the capacity building needs to the goal.


Capacity Building Matrix

Need for customizing the capacity building matrix

Every team is unique and has different needs and challenges. Hence, a single framework might not work for all state teams. However, each state team can aim to define capacity building at individual and team levels to achieve short term goals such as effective lesson planning, promoting activity based learning methods etc.,


Building capacity is a long time effort

Building capacity in teams can’t be done overnight or through a single intervention. This is due to the diversity of skills and needs of people across the chain. To tackle this problem it is important to look at capacity building as a continuous process with the following steps:
  • Define a roadmap, prioritize and breakdown the capacity development needs into:
  1. Self learning activities
  2. Group capacity building
  3. Short term training interventions
  • Monitor and adapt the roadmap based on success

Allocating the required share of time to capacity building

To achieve sustainable change, it’s important to allocate the required share of time to capacity building. This will bring ownership at all levels and make capacity building interventions as part of the routine and not as a separate activity.
In the upcoming months, we will share our capacity building initiatives at various levels keeping in mind some of the points discussed above and other ideas based on our past experiences.

[1] Capacity Building Framework used by UNESCO - IICBA