Capacity building: shifting the paradigms of practice

The concept of capacity building is elusive, and our current approaches are doomed to failure, not because we lack adequate models, but because these approaches are in themselves inadequate. This article attempts to outline some of the fundamental shifts which a new form of approach to capacity building would entail, the first shift being from the tangible to the intangible, and the second being from static model to a developmental reading. Some of the consequences of such shifts are discussed. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections and in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.