The goal of a training programme is to contribute to the organizations overall goals. The typical training program should be developed with the perception that managers will keep a close eye on their firm’s goals and strategies and orient their training accordingly (Bohlander & Snell, 2009). Bohlander & Snell (2009) determined that in many organizations, training programs are often misdirected, poorly designed, and inadequately evaluated. In order to make sure that the firms training program has the required threshold of impact it’s should involve four phases. These phases include needs assessment, program design, implementation and evaluation. There is a need that organizations specify the goals and sub goals to be reached by learners during the training programme (Merriënboer & Kirschner, 2007). The analysis of these phases are typically based on interviewing and observing those being trained in order to provide the basis for the development of an important part of the supportive information (Merriënboer & Kirschner, 2007).
Capacity building is recognized as a concept that provides a link to the previously isolated approaches into a coherent strategy with a long-term perspective and vision of social change (Amaratunga & Haigh, 2011). Capacity building on the other hand is a strategy that needs to be evaluated so that judgments can be made about the effectiveness of capacity building strategies Hughes & Margetts (2011). Capacity building seeks to enhance or more effectively utilize, skills, abilities and resources. Unlike training programmes, a capacity building programme includes five steps which include engaging stakeholders on capacity development, assessing capacity assets and needs, formulating a capacity development response, implementing a capacity development finally evaluating capacity development (Amaratunga & Haigh, 2011).
The first stage is the training needs assessment. Mathis & Jackson (2010) says that assessing organizational training needs is the diagnostic phase of a training programme. They further say that this assessment considers issues of employee and organizational performance to determine if training can help to improve them. Merriënboer & Kirschner (2007) says that “the goal of this stage is to analyze the context in which the training takes place, the characteristics of the target group and the task or content to be taught” (p. 123). On the other hand, capacity building the first stage involves initial assessment or analysis (Wheeler, 2004). Amaratunga & Haigh (2011) says that during this step of engaging stakeholders on capacity development analysis of the existing capacity and identification and prioritization of capacity gaps is done.
The second stage in a typical training is the program design. Bohlander & Snell (2009) says that this step helps to devise a blueprint or lesson plan for the training program. The design of the program should select the right mix of strategies to fit the learner’s characteristics. Mathis & Jackson (2010) noted that practice, over learning, behavioral modeling, error based examples and reinforcement is some of the prominent strategies available in designing the training experience. On the other hand capacity building second stage involves assessing capacity assets and needs to address the identified gaps. Amaratunga & Haigh (2011) says that assessing capacity assets and needs requires enormous efforts and time in understanding the local context and finding appropriate means to build capacity.
The third stage of a typical training programme involves implementing the training program. Bohlander & Snell (2009) says that a wide variety of methods are available for training employees at all levels. The implementation can use on the job training, apprenticeship, cooperative, internships and government training. The goal of this phase is to implement the training program in the organization, taking the available resources and organizational structures into account (Merriënboer & Kirschner, 2007). Evaluation of training compares the post training results to the pre-training objectives of managers, trainers and trainees (Mathis & Jackson, 2010). The training results should be examined through cost-benefit analysis, which is commonly used to measure training results as the various benchmarking approaches. In capacity building the third stage is formulating a capacity development response. Amaratunga & Haigh (2011) says that this stage considers how developed capacities are mobilized and deployed under realistic conditions. They also noted that failing to make use of existing capacities can undermine mitigations and reconstruction activities. Amaratunga & Haigh (2011) indicated that making the best use of capacities will involve mobilization of all the creative and innovative capacities that can be found in existing human and institutional capacities.
The fourth and final stage of a typical training programme is evaluation. Merriënboer & Kirschner (2007) says that the goal of this phase is to evaluate the training program and gather information that may be used to improve it. In capacity building the fourth stage is implementing a capacity development. Amaratunga & Haigh (2011) noted that capacity building programme should be implemented in such a way that it is sustainable beyond any initial external intervention. The final stage is evaluating capacity development. This implies that evaluating capacity is undertaken to determine the effectiveness of the entire process. Evaluation is more likely to occur in the context of stable political, institutional and economic conditions that provide an atmosphere of support for the capacity building efforts in the organization (Amaratunga & Haigh, 2011). They also indicated that sources of funding are an important element of evaluating and capacity retention.
Explain why it is important to consider outcome and impact of the capacity development programmes in developing an organization. Use an example either from the literature or an organization you are familiar with
Honadle & Howitt (1996) says that one of the major problems faced in an ongoing evaluation of a capacity development program is to demonstrate that the entire process produced results. This is because first, the program should be evaluated in their initial stages and go through the awareness, acceptance and adoption stages of capacity building (Honadle & Howitt, 1996). Hughes & Margetts (2011) stated that assessment of capacity is required at various stages of capacity development and different measures may be necessary at each stage. They indicated that impact measurement assesses the amount of capacity gain at the various levels as well as the successful elements of the capacity building strategy and their contribution to the intervention outcomes (Hughes & Margetts, 2011).
The capacity building outcomes should affect overall organizational performance, whether by improving management, program impacts, or both. Light (2004) says that the outputs must in the end find their way to actual program impacts. Many of the outcomes will involve gains such as higher revenues, increased productivity and will involve pains such as increased stress, confusion and firings (Light, 2004). For example, building national capacity in a country is the key to improving analytical rigor over time. Carvalho (2010) says that many low income countries have limited capacity and experience in areas of critical importance to the country. In this context, Carvalho (2010) indicated that “these areas include data collection systems, monitoring and evaluation systems, the capacity to conduct analysis into policy and the institutional structures and mechanisms for debate on such policy issues in the public domain” (p. 24). In these countries, World Bank and development partners have an important role in strengthening national capacity building and filling the existing gaps.
In order to measure the outcomes of capacity building, there needs to be a strategy to achieve the intended capacity building over the intended time period. Carvalho (2010) says that we should ensure that there is demand for capacity from governments. This is an important part of the capacity building strategy, especially because the evidence based policy making may not come from client governments (Carvalho, 2010). Two important aspects that determine outcomes and impact of capacity building efforts include a needs assessment to precede the specific capacity intervention and outcome monitoring. When capacity building is undertaken in a specific country, the outcomes are determined by a programmatic approach that enables successive capacity building investments over a longer period may be more effective in building capacity than a one-off effort.