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EDITORIAL: Capability versus Capacity

The recurring problems in governance, aside from centralized policies, is the lack of CAPACITY to analyse and make effective decisions by and of local leaders from LGUs, the CSOs and most of our social and economic aggrupation. This is a result of old and conventional forms of CAPABILITY building training, which development institutions failed, and refuse to address.

There is big difference between this two apparently simple human resource development terminologies. CAPABILITY means HOW to do things, while CAPACITY is the ability to analyse, rationalize and think WHY somebody is doing something. Capability involve mechanical or PHYSICAL action while capacity involves the mind or the BRAIN. Capability-building programs has been the regular social intervention of government agencies, and draw perfunctory support from private sector organizations.

Traditional capability-building inadvertently sets aside the most important element of human development: the intellectual and psychological aspects that actually cause despairs, frustrations and training fatigue when not recognized. This is manifested by apathy, indifference and mechanized participation and compliance of our target groups with our decisions. This programs feed only on the corporeal needs of people, but they are bereft of cerebral, and acceptable level of psychological fulfilment. Traditional interventions create cynical issues from our beneficiaries. They see us providing academic-based programs to the already well-educated. They see us attending to the needs of the corporate world, but we are hesitant to seek innovative effort that will satisfy the unspoken desire of our partner-target groups. This creates resentments, and feelings of double standards.

Small leaders of community-based people’s organizations, including barangay officials, long to be shared with practical analytical too, skills, concepts, and working frameworks that can enrich their management and leadership abilities. They desire to know what and how successful people are made of. They desire to experience and participate in how projects are developed instead of being 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 TRAIN PEOPLE, OR ASSIGN INSTITUTIONS who can design and deliver higher levels, but simplified knowledge and skills that we are giving to well-off groups. This means that it is time to liberalize, adapt, simplify and share our academic and corporate tools and strategies to the real development warriors in the fields. We must debunked the erroneous theory that academic and corporate skill and knowledge can only be obtained through formal academic or higher education programs.


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