Capacity Assessment in ICZM

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UNDP defines Capacity as the ability of individuals, organizations and societies to perform functions, solve problems, and set and achieve objectives in a sustainable manner. Capacity Development (CD) is thereby the process through which the abilities to do so are obtained, strengthened, adapted and maintained over time.

A Capacity Assessment is an analysis of desired future capacities against current capacities; this assessment generates an understanding of capacity assets and needs, which in turn leads to the formulation of Capacity Development response strategies.

Capacity Assessment serves as input to defining Capacity Development response strategies that address those areas where national and/or local capacities could be strengthened or that optimize existing capacities that are strong and well place. The Capacity Assessment also sets the baseline for ongoing monitoring and evaluation progress against relevant indicators.

Capacity Assessment provide a systematic analysis of what key capacities exist, and a point of dialogue and negotiation on what additional capacities may be required to reach a desired development outcome. However, it is understood that fulfilling such capacity needs as identified provides necessary but often not sufficient conditions for the achievement of the development outcome.

Capacity Assessment Tools

A major step in capacity development is to perform a Capacity Assessment plus a Capacity Needs Assessment which will provide a real picture of current strengths and weaknesses for performing ICZM that will help to organize existing resources as well as to fill in the identified capacity gaps through Capacity Building initiatives.

In sum, a simple equation that relates What I have and what I need is the basic driver to Capacity Building initiatives. Though this may sound like common sense, unfortunately, in the majority of cases, this criterion has not been applied.

Practical examples

See also Methodologies for assessing the capacity needs in ICZM

Capacity Assessment and Capacity Needs Assessment go hand in hand. This is illustrated through 3 reference examples:

  1. The United Nations TRAIN-SEA-COAST Programme’s methodology for Training Needs Analysis
  2. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA Coastal Services Center, NEEDS ASSESSMENT TRAINING, an On-line Learning Module
  3. The WIOMSA – Coastal Resources Center, University of Rhode Island, CAPACITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT, undertaken at the regional level


Further reading

External Links