Capacity development

Capacity Development

Pact supports the capacities of individuals, community groups, civil society and governments so they can translate hopes and ideas into new and lasting realities.



partner organizations that improved their performance in 2018

A pioneer and innovator in what is now among the most critical disciplines in international development, Pact has been strengthening groups and communities around the world for more than 40 years. This includes community-based organizations, civil society organizations, advocacy groups and government agencies. As a global partner with extensive experience in holistic, integrated development, we help organizations, governments and systems craft development agendas, plan for change and take effective action. 

Pact views capacity development as an approach, a process and an outcome. Our capacity development work is intentional, goes beyond knowledge transfer, relies on co-creation and co-implementation, incorporates technology in creative ways and agilely works within complex, adaptive systems. 

Capacity Development 2.0
Pact recently launched a new set of capacity development tools based on what is known as Capacity Development 2.0. This framework involves methodically embedding programmatic efforts in a larger local systems approach. This begins with delineating, mapping and analyzing relevant systems. Pact and its partners then co-create action and change plans, including all actors needed to foster meaningful social change. Pact and partners identify and leverage opportunities and link them with associated capacities to support and strengthen as needed. The resulting highly participatory co-design processes lay out clear steps for progress.

With Pact's Capacity Solutions Platform, or CSP, Pact and its partners can capture qualitative and quantitative data to track and understand organizations' progress. An important tool in Pact's ongoing effort to move the historical locus of development change out of the "project" context and into the appropriate local context, the CSP has now been used by more than 2,500 organizations in 30 countries.

Pact also relies on the open-source, evidence-based methodology known as Collective Impact, which makes systems-based approaches to change relatively easy to understand and co-implement, even for nascent local groups.

To learn more, read our capacity development fact sheet.

Our Capacity Development Work in Action

Capacity development not training: Context, partnership and data for effective capacity development

April 24, 2019
Capacity development in the aid industry is complex. Pact's capacity development team is using its approach to build and improve...

Research article: The Organizational Performance Index: A new method for measuring international civil society capacity development outcomes

January 11, 2019
This Performance Improvement Quarterly journal article explores Pact's OPI.

In Nigeria, a state-level health COP shows the power of convening

July 3, 2018
Reducing diarrheal disease among children is a major goal of the global health community. Although it is both preventable and treatable, it...

Welcome to the world, Government Performance Index!

April 3, 2018
For years, Pact’s Organizational Performance Index, or OPI, has been helping local organizations to measure their capacity, understand...

Through capacity development, a once-small Ukrainian NGO leads in HIV services

January 30, 2018
Although Olena Ovsyannikova was the head of a well-established HIV services NGO, she’d never heard of the concept of organizational...

‘Everything is different now’: With integrated development, Myanmar communities transform

January 23, 2018
The Shae Thot project has addressed villages’ most pressing needs, including health, food security and livelihoods. But its unique,...

The FISH project in Malawi

December 19, 2017
The fish in lakes Chilwa, Chiuta, Malombe, and Malawi are a precious natural resource and the pride of Malawi. The Fisheries Integration of...

In Nepal, learning from mistakes means lasting roads, less environmental impact

November 2, 2017
Through a Pact-U.S. Forest Service partnership, Nepali engineers gain critical skills for building sustainable roads in unforgiving...

Rebuilding Stronger: Putting Communities in Charge after Nepal’s Earthquakes

August 31, 2017
In 2012, Pact began implementing USAID’s Sajhedari Bikaas project in six southern districts of Nepal. The six-year effort is helping rural...

After earthquakes in Nepal, rebuilding better

June 19, 2017
With a unique model that puts post-disaster communities in charge of their own recovery, Nepalis are building much more than water systems.