Capacity Development

Pact supports the capacities of individuals, community groups, civil society and governments so they can translate hopes and ideas into new and lasting realities.

A pioneer and innovator in what is now among the most critical disciplines in international development, Pact has been strengthening groups and communities around the world for more than 40 years. This includes community-based organizations, civil society organizations, advocacy groups and government agencies. As a global partner with extensive experience in holistic, integrated development, we help organizations, governments and systems craft development agendas, plan for change and take effective action. 

Pact views capacity development as an approach, a process and an outcome. Our capacity development work is intentional, goes beyond knowledge transfer, relies on co-creation and co-implementation, incorporates technology in creative ways and agilely works within complex, adaptive systems. Our process aligns with the project life cycle core pillars of scan, analyze, plan, act and learn, to ground our work in the principles of learning, quality, customization and partnership.

Our tools and methodologies

*Integrated Technical and Organizational Capacity Assessment (ITOCA) — Pact uses a relationship-driven approach to assess organizational capacity with a focus on building on existing strengths. In co-creation with partners, ITOCA is customized to ensure that it can examine organizational, technical, adaptive and influencing capacities and leads to the development of a change action plan.

*Change Action Plans (CAP) — We focus assessment results on co-creating a CAP that outlines organizational needs to improve capacity so our partners can better meet their missions. This process empowers organizations to use data to inform their plans and priorities.

*Human-Centered Design (HCD) — Pact implements human-centered design as an approach that identifies underlying causes, creates genuine collaboration with communities, and rapidly prototypes and tests solutions. We currently have an online, asynchronous HCD course developed for communities and local partners.

*Organizational Performance Index (OPI) — Pact’s OPI and its sister tools for community groups and government partners (Community Performance Index and Government Performance Index, respectively), are the USAID-endorsed approach for measuring performance improvement. Modeled on global standards, the tools measure performance in the five domains of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, sustainability and resilience.

*System Mapping — Pact uses iterative, participatory processes to map systems to inform strategy at the program and local partner levels. We draw from Net Mapping, Actor Mapping and Systems Practice to create a best-fit approach for each context.

*Network Analysis and Strengthening — Pact utilizes a data-driven approach that brings partners together to collectively act and develop strategies to achieve their goals. The process allows partners to visualize patterns of interaction, ask better questions, deepen understanding of how their network operates, and develop strategies for network strengthening.

*Collective Impact (CI) — Pact uses CI as a framework to bring people together to work toward achieving social change when confronting complex social problems. While the idea of collaboration and bringing diverse groups of stakeholders together is not new, CI offers a common language and structured approach to follow that has proven successful in implementation around the world.

With Pact's Capacity Solutions Platform, or CSP, Pact and its partners can capture qualitative and quantitative data to track and understand organizations' progress. An important tool in Pact's ongoing effort to move the historical locus of development change out of the "project" context and into the appropriate local context, the CSP has now been used by more than 2,500 organizations in 30 countries.

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