Capacity Development Resource Library

The Capacity Development Resource Library is home to a wide range of capacity development material specific to non-governmental organizations. It is a collection of resources inclusive of documents, links and toolkits.

The Resource Library covers content across twenty (20) thematic areas:

Advocacy can take many different forms, including research, public education, lobbying, and voter education. It is the main way in which non-profit organizations advance the issues they care about and help bring about lasting change on the behalf of their beneficiaries.  Enhancing capacities in the area of constructive advocacy and engagement can create significant benefits for NGOs and civil society organizations. While organizations will undertake advocacy at differing levels, the resources available will provide guidance regardless of the type and operational level of organizations.

 

Prudent financial management is a vital activity in any organization. It is the process of planning, organizing, controlling and monitoring financial resources with a view to achieving organizational goals and objectives. It is an ideal practice for controlling the financial activities of an organization. Sound financial management enables NGOs to be accountable to donors, promote good accounting, make wise financial decisions, enhance credibility and strengthen fundraising efforts. One of the important capacity development resources available under this section is a financial management toolkit developed specifically for this project. This toolkit provides critical guidance for all types of organizations.

 

For NGOs, fundraising is the act of gathering funds in order to support socially impactful activities. Fundraising is not only about asking for money, it also consists of ways for non-profit organizations to build relationships, garner support, and attract new donors. Fundraising is necessary to ensure that NGOs are able to undertake social campaigns, promote advocacy and partner with other organizations to respond to social issues. Significant resources are available in this section to help organizations build their capacity for successful fundraising.

Gender refers to the economic, social, political, and cultural attributes and opportunities associated with being women and men. The social definitions of what it means to be a woman or a man vary among cultures and change over time. Gender and gender mainstreaming should be a major area of focus for organizations, and is a critical step to promoting inclusion and gender equality. Capacity development resources provides insight into key areas of concern and perspectives on the issue.

Governance is the establishment of policies, and the continuous monitoring of their implementation, by the members of the governing body of an organization. It includes the mechanisms required to balance the exercise of power with associated levels of accountability. Governance examines the relationships among stakeholders and levels of influence exercised by all involved. NGOs in particular are required to adhere to high standards of good governance and accountability. Available resources in this section will assist organizations in identifying best practices for ensuring good governance within their organizations.

The receipt of grants by NGOs is a key component of their financial sustainability. Grants fund project activities and supports general operations.  The process of grants management involves different components including monitoring your outputs; project reporting; and tracking your expenditure. This section provides resources that will help you understand the processes involved in managing your grant and how to do so successfully.

Human resource management involves the efficient and effective development of an organization’s resources when they are needed. Effectively managing your human resources allows organizations to devise strategies for their innovative use and expansion. By standardizing human resource management processes, you can improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the organization’s operations.   While many organizations might not immediately have all the necessary human resources, the materials in this section will be helpful to understanding how effective management will be beneficial, provide templates for best practices, and guidance for establishing organizational policies.

Knowledge and information management are critical to assisting civil society organisations in the effective execution of their work. Knowledge management includes creating, sharing and using data and information to help organisations make more informed decisions. It also assists the organisations in developing a more informed position in their policy advocacy initiatives. Sound knowledge and information management is also key to helping organisations become more efficient in their internal operations and can improve organisational sustainability. The resources in this section have been selected to showcase the potential benefits of knowledge and information management to NGOs. Case studies have also been included to show case how knowledge and information management systems have been transformative for a number of organisations.

Marketing and Communication can help NGOs achieve fundraising success and raise the profile of their organizations. NGOs working towards addressing social problems, often become the voice of civil society.  It is important to ensure good working relationships are cultivated and sustained through good marketing and communication. Very often organizations struggle with this area especially when they work with vulnerable communities whose work is often sensitive.  Available resources will provide tips for developing good marketing and communication strategies and enhancing organizational outreach.

Understanding and implementing strong monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems and processes is critical for non-governmental organizations. Monitoring and Evaluation within projects ensures effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.  This allows organizations to better measure and report the delivery of results to their beneficiaries.  Currently, NGOs within the region are making concerted efforts to improve M&E systems. Resources under this section provide guidance on clarifying the two concepts, details how to develop appropriate policies and provides best practices.

NGO specific legislation is important to civil society organisations across the Caribbean. An enabling legal environment provides the sector not only with greater regulation but also allows for improved transparency, accountability and signals to regional and international donors that the sector is serious about having set standards by which it is willing to abide and operate by. NGO legislation also helps to formalize and strengthen relations between Caribbean governments and NGOs and gives greater legitimacy to the work of the sector in the same way that companies and trade unions have specific legislation which governs their functioning. Resources in this section include global trends in NGO legislation and implications and examples of the processes and work involved in implementing NGO legislation.

Partnership building is critical to the work of NGOs. NGOs require the support of various people and organisations across sectors to be able to achieve their goals, to influence important policy decisions and to implement their programmes. There are a number of benefits to be derived from strong partnerships. They allow for resources to be pooled, greater focus and emphasis to be placed on resolving issues and ensuring that the issues of the most vulnerable in our societies are effectively addressed. Partnership building helps to create shared goals, fosters and deepens understanding and collaboration and it allows for greater inclusivity. This section provides resources which give insight on how to establish, build, and maintain partnerships.

Project management requires planning, organizing and managing the effort to accomplish a successful project. Project management includes developing a project plan, which involves defining and confirming the project goals and objectives, how they will be achieved, identifying tasks and quantifying the resources needed, and determining budgets and timelines for completion. Within civil society organizations, sound project management is key to ensuring proper communication, monitoring and evaluation, and most importantly, provides donors/funders with a sense of confidence in the organization’s ability to manage projects. Under this section organization’s will find a wide range of resources that help increase their capacity to understand the principles of strong project management.

Proposal Writing is one of the key areas which are critical to NGOs. It forms the basis on which they apply for grants, partnerships and other funding opportunities. The project proposal outlines among other things, the plan of the implementing organization, providing extensive information on the management arrangements, and the expected outputs and outcomes.  There are multiple resources in this section which provide guidance on the various stages in the development of proposals, and best practices.

Many NGOs often struggle with sustaining their organisations and continuing many of their social service projects long after donor funds have been depleted. As a result, many institutions are seeking alternative funding solutions to maintain their institutions. Social Enterprise is important to the concept of NGO sustainability as it focuses on revenue generation as well as project and product design approaches which may have implications for NGO efficiency and effectiveness .This section provides resources that will help you to understand the processes, benefits and frameworks associated with Social Enterprise.

Stakeholders consist of all the individuals who have a vested interest in the progress and results of your project. Stakeholders can be your donor, members of the public or the individuals with whom you are working with. This section contains resources which provide insight on processes, strategies and communication plans involved with stakeholder engagement.

Strategic Planning is the systematic process of envisioning a desired future, and translating this vision into broadly defined goals or objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them. In contrast to long-term planning (which begins with the current status and lays down a path to meet estimated future needs), strategic planning begins with the desired-end and works backwards to the current status. Strategic planning for NGOs ensures longevity and sustainability of the organization in reaching its planned goals. Resources in this section includes guidance on the strategic planning process, templates which can be followed and sample strategic plans.

The main principle behind sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the capacity of future generations. Sustainable development ensures that there is equilibrium between economic growth, the environment and social well-being. Many of the social challenges such as climate change, poverty and inequality can only be resolved by promoting sustainable development. This section provides resources on the processes, challenges and implications for achieving sustainable development.

For many NGOs volunteerism is a vital feature of their institution, without the use of volunteers many NGOs would not exist. Not only do volunteers cut cost for NGOs by donating their time to the organization, they serve to benefit the organization in a number of capacities. This section explores the importance of volunteerism, the social impacts of volunteerism as well as providing samples of volunteer charters.

 

Youth development is a process which equips a young person with the necessary tools to face the challenges of adolescence and adulthood and reach his or her full potential. The resources in this section focus on the importance of youth development and the linkages between youth development and sustainable development.