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Making Capacity Building More Equitable

A new resource to help funders center equity in capacity building

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Many funders understand the value of capacity building and the need to ground work in equity. Yet many grapple with what it can look like to make capacity-building offerings more equitable.

Up to now, capacity building across the field has been far from equitable. Traditional capacity building has perpetuated harmful assumptions of how effectiveness should be defined and by whom, which means capacity building traditionally has been steeped in white dominant culture, implicit bias, and a host of inequitable practices. We need to fundamentally rethink our assumptions of what good capacity building looks like.

We have released a new field guide that offers ways to rethink capacity building with equity at the center. It outlines questions to hold, decisions to make, and intentions to set. We’ve organized it into five areas we’ve seen are common in this process:

  1. Before You Begin: Questions for Reflection
  2. Goals
  3. Designing Your Approach
  4. Working Through Power Dynamics
  5. Learning & Outcomes


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