More about Community Capacity Building

This short video explains what capacity building means and what it can look like in practice. Download some questions for discussion to help you think through how you might support capacity building in your community.


What is Community Capacity Building? 

Communities come in all shapes and sizes: from neighbourhoods, towns and villages, to groups who share a common interest such as older people, and minority groups.

When communities come together to form groups and networks, they bring with them a wide range of experiences, knowledge, skills and resources, which help them to address their shared issues and concerns.  The extent to which they can do this is called community capacity.

Many communities, particularly those which face disadvantage, look for support to help increase their capacity, to help build on or share their existing skills and confidence.  The aim is to become more influential to deliver change.  This support is called community capacity building.

What does it look like in practice?

Community organisations usually need resources in order to first find out, and then carry out the activities that their community wants. This may be access to people, buildings, equipment or funds.

Communities may also need support to develop learning and processes for collective action, so that they can make sure they are inclusive, that they work together to represent their community, and are better able to influence local decisions.