This paper helps development practitioners unbundle the question, "what is the measure of capacity?" The paper presents a framework for better defining, capturing and communicating capacity development results. The framework begins with the end in mind – national development goals.
The strength of institutions is central to the achievement of national development goals. Increasingly, development programmes aim to strengthen various aspects of national capacities so that they are better able to fulfil their mandates and contribute to achievement of national goals. It has been difficult, however, to draw an accurate picture of the contribution of these programmes to the strengthening of institutions, let alone to achievement of development goals. A key obstacle to measuring the change in capacity has been the ambiguity of what the results of capacity development are. This paper offers a common language with which to articulate results and a common framework in which to capture them.