What is Community Capacity Building?
‘Building community capacity and influence by enabling individuals, groups and communities to develop the confidence, understanding and skills required to influence decision making and service delivery. This could include enabling communities to provide and manage services to meet community needs.’
(Source: Working Together to Build Stronger Communities- WALT 2004)
The Scottish Government has set out clear expectations of the outcomes community capacity building should deliver. Community capacity building in Community Learning and Development focuses on achieving:
- Confident, skilled, active and influential communities.
- Effective and inclusive community organisations.
- Effective relationships between community organisations and other organisations and services.
(Source: Scottish Government 2009)
Staff providing community capacity building support can face challenging issues of accountability and may be working with communities on issues that are politically sensitive. It is therefore important that their work is informed by commitment to a widely-understood set of principles.
- Inclusion, equality of opportunity and anti-discrimination
- Self-determination; and
These principles should be embedded in work to promote Community Empowerment, in evaluations of its effectiveness and in assessments of its quality.
Community Support Unit