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University of Michigan School of Social Work Technical Assistance Center, Good Neighborhoods Initiative
 

Summary: University of Michigan School of Social Work
Technical Assistance Center, Good Neighborhoods Initiative
April 2007
1
Capacity Building
I. Background/Considerations1
:
In Learning from the Journey the Annie E. Casey Foundation states that the need for capacity building is
"critical and continual." Initiatives grounded in the community require new capacity building approaches
and tools. Structured learning processes, with communities fully engaged in the determination of technical
assistance needs, management, and effectiveness, are critical in a comprehensive community-building
initiative, as is the recognition that the optimum learning sequence is not always a linear one.
Building capacity refers to the process of educating and assisting residents, organizations, and other
stakeholders in the community who are in need of certain skills, knowledge, and resources to successfully
participate in transforming their community. In fact, in the Rebuilding Communities Initiative (RCI), the
Casey Foundation's theory of change states that "comprehensive community change cannot occur unless
the chosen strategies truly respond to the needs of their residents." Thus, the RCI capacity-building agenda
was not just about organizational development, but encompassed personal development as well. In one
community, RCI "helped us to see leadership development as the engine of change that will drive what we
are trying to do here. It has helped us gear the community up for thinking together and then moving

  

Source: Awtar, Shorya - Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

 

Collections: Engineering