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Capacity building (or capacity development) is the process by which individuals and organizations obtain, improve, and retain the skills, knowledge, tools, equipment and other resources needed to do their jobs competently or to a greater capacity (larger scale, larger audience, larger impact, etc). Capacity building and capacity development are often used interchangeably.
Community capacity building is a conceptual approach to social, behavioral change and leads to infrastructure development. It simultaneously focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhibit people, governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from realizing their development goals and enhancing the abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results.
The term community capacity building emerged in the lexicon of international development during the 1990s. Today, "community capacity building" is included in the programs of most international organizations that work in development, such as the World Bank, the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations like Oxfam International. The wide use of the term has resulted in controversy over its true meaning.
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