Local Capacity Strengthening
Over the years PCI has developed and/or adapted powerful LCS tools that have successfully contributed to strengthening the capacity of organizations, networks and government programs.
Local Capacity Strengthening (LCS) means leveraging and expanding the existing capacity of local partners to achieve their mission and create sustainable impact. This is why we use the term “strengthening” instead of “building”. LCS is a facilitated, self-driven and evidence-infused process that entails accompanying local partners to ensure they have the ability to take positive action in response to evolving needs and opportunities.
Local partners include government agencies, civil society organizations (CSOs) or networks, and community groups, both formal and informal.
LCS is a priority area of focus in PCI’s 2020 strategic plan. It is a key driver of transformative and sustainable impact. LCS is part of PCI’s “DNA” and rich history – it’s the way we do things.
PCI’s LCS approach builds on the concept of “accompaniment”:
- Being there (with them)
- Supporting them
- Learning from them
- Listening to their needs, challenges, ideas
- Working with what they have
- Helping them identify, prioritize and engage in change
- It’s not a hierarchical relationship but a horizontal one. It is not for compliance or supervision purposes, but it can help with those.
Over the years PCI has developed and/or adapted powerful LCS tools that have successfully contributed to strengthening the capacity of organizations, networks and government programs. These include a number of tools that related to capacity assessment and strengthening that form the PCI Toolkit:
- We have several tools in our “toolkit” to assess organizational or network capacity.
- We have a Sub-Award Management and Support Manual (SAMS) designed to address the LCS needs of local implementing partners (typically local civil society organizations) which links accompaniment and LCS approaches to the management of subs process in order to ensure greater local capacity as well as optimal sub-award compliance.
- We also have tools designed to measure the impact of our LCS work, including a post-project sustainability methodology to use with partners whose capacity we have strengthened.
- We continue to work towards a ‘standardized’ approach, where all PCI programs working with local partners, and all projects that have an important LCS focus or objectives, benefit from what is available and the lessons learned over the years, and utilize for the most part, the same tools.
- We are also working to link our LCS work with the global movement towards “localization” as exemplified by USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance and USG and other donors’ increasing emphasis on funding local entities. PCI focuses on strengthening the capacity of its own affiliate organizations (eg, in Zambia and India) as well as strengthening the capacity of local civil society organizations in order to enable them to take on USG funding (eg, in Botswana).