EDITORIAL: Capability Building Fatigue

Face-to-face encounters with some members of local organizations reveal their distress from what they call capability building fatigue. This exhaustions is caused by many and frequent implementation of various kinds, types, and topics of training, seminars, workshops, and activities from government, private sectors and service organizations. These program are useful because they tend to answer present needs. However, they are not consciously designed to achieve long-term development solutions.

We always inadvertently set-aside the most important aspect of human need: the intellectual and psychological aspects that actually cause despairs and frustrations. Present programs feed only on the corporeal needs of people, but they are bereft of cerebral, and conscientious level of psychological fulfilment.

Our traditional and expert-driven interventions create high level of needs from our recipients. They see us providing academic-based programs to the already well-educated. They see us attending to the corporate world, but we are hesitant to conduct similar attention to satisfy the unspoken desire of the economically-challenged sectors. This creates resentments, and feelings of double standards.

Small and local leaders of community-based people’s organizations including barangay officials long to be shared with practical analytical skills, concepts, and frameworks that can enrich their management skill and leadership qualities for empowerment. They desire to know what and how successful people are made of. They desire to experience and participate on how projects are developed instead of enforced. This is part of their dreams, although seemingly impossible, but even virtual ideas will calm their psych-social deprivation. It can rekindle their self-worth, and enhance their capacity to face organizational challenges. We must deliver higher level of knowledge that we are giving to well-off groups. It’s time to open, liberalize, share, and apply Maslow’s theory of human needs to the leaders of our local partners and intermediaries.

We propose forums to concretize the unrequited desires of our overlooked but real partners and intermediaries in development. We must design an appropriate program for their capacity enhancement. If government cannot do it, we must support private academic institutions that are already doing it, or capable of implementing it.