Capacity building or capacity development are terms that can be used interchangeably. Capacity building is sometimes described as the ‘invisible work’ of health promotion1.  It is the ‘behind the scenes’ effort by practitioners that increases the likelihood that effective health promotion programs will be sustained.  Capacity building involves investing time and money in the fundamentals of an organsiation, it’s strategy and direction, leadership capability, human resources and culture.  Capacity building is an investment in sustainability. Capacity building often involves the development of partnerships. The UNDP describes capacity building as transformations that empower individuals, leaders, organizations and societies.

1Bowen, Shelley. (2000). Capacity building to improve health: A health promotion perspective. New South Wales public health bulletin. 11. 28-29. 10.1071/NB00015.



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