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APEN 2001 International Conference

Toowoomba, 4th-5th October 2001

Report No:


Title of Topic:

What Criteria Can Agencies Use to Prioritise Alternative Community Capacity Building Projects.

Name of Leader:

Ray Murphy

Names of Participants:

Darren Moor, Dale Williams, Greg Claydon, Nigel Gallas, Noel Ainsworth, Warren Vaschina, David Sparks, Rebecca Sven, Malcolm Letts, Terry Parnienter

Main points of discussion

The community capacity building for this discussion was defined as the enhancing the social capital of a community (i.e. building the networks rather than individual skills).


  • Assessing local needs is a pre cursor
  • Evidence that the project would succeed – past success of project or stakeholders
  • Evidence of community support
  • Ownership of the project
  • Built in evaluation
  • Designed around community needs.

The majority of the discussion revolved around community engagement. There are some points.

  • Do we understand the different agencies, approaches, targeted outcomes and rationale for decisions made about these?
  • Engaging stakeholders – how appropriate have agency approaches been?
  • We need creative ways to engage stakeholders.
  • Better analysis needed of ‘community’ needs.
  • Define community
  • Forming a group can be a performance criteria for agency staff. This can work against making use of existing groups and networks. We must ask to the part of existing activities
  • Should this question be redefined – take out agencies, as it assumes agencies have power.



Community defines problem
Community defines solution
Extension = facilitation

Community defines problem
Community defines solution
Agencies provide $


Community knows problem
Agency knows solution
Community = problem determine actions

Agency knows problem
Agency knows solution
Community does action



(Terry Parnienter)

There is a third dimension of issue complexity.
Single problem -> easy solution
Complex problem -> multi-facetted solution

Matrix facilitates analysis of issues into typology and appropriate agency action.

Capacity building should respect the dignity of individuals and concept that agencies work is not complete when they are still needed.

It was noted that intervention has also has success in building social capital. Property Management Planning has achieved this because of the processes it used.

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