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EDITORIAL: The Urgent Need For Capacity Enhancement

The recurring problem in governance and service delivery, aside from over-centralized policies, is the ease and subliminal application of academic tools of analysis derived from the restricted education system by our planners, project implementers, and development managers. The outcome is the unchanging forms of CAPABILITY building and CAPACITY development programs.

There is a big difference between the two ostensibly simple human resource development terms: CAPABILITY and CAPACITY. CAPABILITY means how to do things, while CAPACITY is the ability to analyze, rationalize and think about why somebody is doing something. Capability involves PHYSICAL action while capacity involves the mind or the BRAIN.

Based on a Participatory Action Research (PAR) by the former NCF-Center for Corporate Social Responsibility, leaders of community-based people’s organizations, including barangay officials, long to be shared with practical analytical tools, concepts, and development frameworks that can enrich their management skills and leadership abilities to effectively participate in local policy-making, project designing, and implementation.

In our non-formal education and training programs we always inadvertently set aside the most important aspect of human development needs: the intellectual and psychological elements that actually cause despairs, frustrations, and training fatigue. This is manifested by apathy, indifference, and almost mechanical participation and compliance of our target groups.

Present capability-building programs feed only on the corporeal needs of people, but they are bereft of the cerebral, and conscientious level of psychological fulfillment. They see us repeatedly attending to the already well-educated but we are hesitant to conduct similar efforts to satisfy the unspoken desire of the educationally-challenged sectors. This creates resentment and feelings of a double standard.

Leaders and members of marginalized groups also desire to know what successful people are made of, and how they were able to achieve their status. They desire to experience and participate in how projects are developed instead of enforced. This is part of their dreams, although seemingly impossible, but even virtual ideas will calm their psycho-social deprivation. It can rekindle their self-worth, and enhance their capacity to participate in governance. This brings us to the need for an upgrade of our current programs of capability building and capacity development into CAPACITY ENHANCEMENT.

Capacity enhancement needs focused research in three aspects of human resource development programs: the TARGET GROUPS, the SUBJECTS, and the METHOD of education or training delivery. Since there are already regular programs given to the public actors and private organizations in the formal sectors, capacity enhancement must be addressed to the marginalized, overlooked, and vulnerable groups of the population, most of which can be found in the communities.

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