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 Pact supported in 2020

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 50 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

Radio call-in show in Somalia

USAID awards Pact, IREX and partners two major awards to strengthen civil society and media for inclusive, representative democratic societies

September 15, 2021
USAID has chosen Pact, along with IREX and our consortium partners, to lead two new regional programs, each titled Civil Society...
Jean Fillippe Paky’s representation of the natural life cycle. (Photo: SCIOA)

With support from Pact, an indigenous organization awakens

August 12, 2021
As humans, we tend to fall victim to automatic pilot mode: We move forward without being fully engaged in where we’re going. The same...
Governance in Cambodia

Five ideas for supporting CSOs to be more relevant, resilient and sustainable

May 24, 2021
The notion of civil society sustainability used by international development practitioners over-fixates on issues of civil...
A Young Heroes "life mentor" facilitates a small-group session on HIV prevention for adolescent girls in Eswatini before the Covid-19 pandemic. (Credit: Young Heroes)

In Eswatini, two local Pact partners make a huge leap forward as they ‘graduate’ to direct USAID funding

February 23, 2021
In the beginning, Khulekani Magongo recalls, it was just him and a Peace Corps volunteer. It was 2006, and Magongo was the sole employee of...
Community-based support staff member from Yayasan Inter Medika explains Jak-Support fund to a client.

Emergency assistance provided by LINKAGES Indonesia during Covid-19 ensures continuity of HIV and tuberculosis treatment for priority populations

September 9, 2020
This story originally appeared on the LINKAGES blog and has been cross-posted here with permission. It was written by Pact's Ria Ningsih...

Raising the voices of indigenous organizations across the Amazon region

August 5, 2020
“Indigenous women need autonomy, a voice and a light.” This is how Telma Taurepang describes the challenges that her community has long...
Bandung Wangi, an Indonesian organization that provides HIV services for current and former sex workers, has strengthened its capacity with Pact's support. This photo was taken just before the start of the Covid pandemic. (Photo: Brian Clark/Pact)

An important tool for responding to Covid-19 around the world? Local capacity.

June 29, 2020
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold around the world, it has underlined the crucial importance of local capacity, and specifically...

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...