Capacity Building

Increasing local capacity is a central focus of Advancing Partners & Communities (APC). Through targeted assistance, APC prepares organizations to receive USAID funds and implement successful programs. APC’s capacity-building approach includes strengthening organizations’ ability to comply with USAID regulations, identifying issues and challenges to determine innovative solutions, strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems, and supporting learning for community-based family planning and other health approaches. This level of capacity building will help ensure the sustainability and scalability of community-based approaches.

Photo credit: Arne Hoel/World Bank

Below is a list of key issues within capacity building that APC focuses on. Within each key area you will find resources related to capacity building that have been pulled from multiple sources. 

Organizational Development

Through organizational development, or building organizational capacity, an organization can become more effective, efficient, and sustainable, and ensure they are complying will all applicable USAID rules and regulations. Organizational development activities can focus on one specific aspect of an organization, or a wide range of areas such as financial management, human resources, program management, sub-grant management, and monitoring and evaluation.

Enhancing Organizational Performance and Impact
October 2013 | Webinar

Watch a recent series of webinars where JSI shared experiences in the growing and diverse field of capacity development. These webinars cover topics such as connecting organizational and technical capacity, developing capacity through grants, and responding to shifting demands in capacity development.

The Essential NGO Guide to Managing Your USAID Award
September 2012 | Publication

This publication is designed to assist NGOs to more effectively administer resources from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The guide aims to help USAID awardees (also referred to as grantees or recipients) clarify specific requirements, regulations, and compliance issues mandated by their agreements.

Organizational Development Toolkit
July 2012 | Toolkit

This toolkit from NPI-Connect is a compilation of sample manuals, forms, policies, and guidelines that were distributed amongst partners as guidance documents during the NPI program. The resources and tools included in this toolkit serve as examples for organizations to reference when creating organizational or project documents. These are not official templates. Organizations should adapt them according to the needs of their organization.

Technical Assistance

Technical assistance through trainings, workshops, guidance documents, and other means allow organizations to build their technical capacity in a specific technical area or areas. They also allow staff to remain up-to-date on the most recent changes to policies, service delivery guidelines, state-of-the-art practices, etc.

Improving Health Care Quality
November 2015 | E-Learning

The USAID ASSIST Project has launched an eLearning course on Improving Health Care Quality through USAID's Global Health eLearning Center. Free and open to learners from around the world, this course is the first of its kind to focus on quality improvement approaches and methodologies for low-resource settings. It is designed for anyone looking to understand how to improve health care, including health care workers and managers, government officials, donors, and implementing partners. It will help learners to demystify health care improvement, describe its underlying principles, and explain how proven interventions can be incorporated into practice for every patient. The course focuses on process improvement which has a large body of evidence in USAID-supported countries.

Peace Corps Maternal and Newborn Health Training Package
January 2015 | Training Guide

This training package, developed in partnership with Advancing Partners & Communities (APC), introduces Peace Corps Volunteers to the fundamentals of maternal and newborn health and exposes them to key concepts and global trends.  The training package highlights the latest evidence-based practices that can be implemented by Volunteers and their counterparts at the community level to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes. 

Developing Capacities of Community Health Workers in Sexual and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health: A Mapping and Review of Training Resources
April 2014 | Journal Article

This paper aims to identify, organize and provide a synthesis of existing training resource materials for community health workers in different components of sexual and reproductive health and maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health as well as to determine gaps and opportunities and inform efforts to avoid duplication and harmonize approaches to training.

Program Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Family Planning Program: A Facilitator's Guide
October 2009 | Training Guide

This course provides mid- and senior-level country managers with the skills to develop project designs using a results framework. When these skills are used in the design process, project activities are more reliably linked to desired outcomes, and the elements necessary for success are more likely to be addressed.

Sustainability

In many cases the goal of building an organization’s technical or organizational capacity is sustainability of an organization or a project. Through organizational development and technical assistance, local organizations are able to increase the likelihood that their organization can adapt to a changing environment and have a long-term impact on their community.

Family Planning Sustainability Checklist
September 2012 | Toolkit

This resource is a project assessment tool for designing and monitoring sustainability of community-based family planning services. This document is designed to assist community-based family planning project planners and implementers to identify key elements to incorporate in a community family planning project to increase the likelihood of family planning services continuing beyond the project’s end.

Going the Distance: A Step-by-Step Strategy to Foster NGO Sustainability
September 2012 | Training Guide

This training guide offers practical strategies to help nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) plan and effectively navigate the ever-changing environments within which they operate.

Community Health Worker Motivation

In the face of global health worker shortages, the use of community health workers (CHWs) is an important health care delivery strategy for underserved populations. In Uganda, community-based programs often use volunteer CHWs to extend services, including family planning, in rural areas. This study examined factors related to CHW motivation and level of activity in three family planning programs in Uganda.

Support to the Policy and Regulatory Framework for Improving Community Health Systems in Sierra Leone
October 2016 | Summary

Advancing Partners & Communities has been an active partner in the Community Health Workers (CHWs) policy revision process, offering ongoing technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) of Sierra Leone.

Expanding global impact through Community Health Workers: progress and challenges in counting CHWs
March 2016 | Webinar

On March 2, 2016, World Vision, Frontline Health Workers Coalition & One Million CHWs Campaign hosted a webinar: Expanding global impact through Community Health Workers: progress and challenges in counting CHWs. The webinar presented key findings and discussed the relevance of the journey “from fragmentation to harmonization” for the CHW community at large.

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Women Survivors Leading Post-Ebola Recovery in West Africa
March 2018 | Project Highlight

Women leaders of survivor organizations in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are stepping up across the region to address challenges for Ebola survivors, while promoting gender equality in their countries.

Mental Health Nurses and Disaster Response in Sierra Leone
January 2018 | Journal Article

Advancing Partners & Communities has supported mental health nurses in responding to the mudslide disaster in Sierra Leone.

Building Capacity within the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors
January 2018 | Brief

The Ebola Transmission Prevention and Survivor Services program objective is to help the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors become an effective, autonomous institution that can serve and advocate for Ebola survivors.

Endline Infographic: Improving Community Health Services in the Post-Ebola Context
June 2017 | Infographic

This infographic summarizes APC's work in strengthening critical health services in local communities in Sierra Leone, with focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health.

Technical Brief: Strengthening the Health Workforce in Sierra Leone
June 2017 | Brief

This Technical Brief provides detailed information on the capacity building work done by APC under the Post-Ebola Rebuilding Health Services project in Sierra Leone.

Controle De La Qualite Des Donnes De Planification Familiale A L'aide De L'outil RDQA Dans Les Regions Medicales De Dakar, Thies, Et St. Louis
April 2017 | Study

La présente étude se situe dans ce cadre et a pour objectif d’évaluer la qualité des données de routine dela planification familiale dans les régions médicales de Dakar, Saint Louis et Thiès au Sénégal.

Strengthening Health Services as Part of the Post-Ebola Transition in Sierra Leone: Community Engagement Implementation Toolkit
April 2017 | Toolkit

The purpose of this toolkit is to guide the community engagement process for improved community ownership of peripheral health unit quality and catchment area health outcomes in support of the project’s Community Engagement Implementation Strategy.

Life After Ebola: Mothers Return to Health Facilities in Sierra Leone
April 2017 | Photo Gallery

After the Ebola epidemic, a community health center in Sierra Leone is now able to provide improved quality health care services, including family planning.

Revue de Performance des Données de Planification Familiale au Sénégal
December 2016 | Brochure

Le projet Advancing Partners & Communities a apporté une assistance technique à la Direction de la Santé Reproductive et de la Survie de l’Enfant (DSRSE) dans le domaine du suivi-évaluation notamment dans le programme de planification familiale.

Revue de Performance des Données de Planification Familiale au Sénégal
December 2016 | Report

Pour repositionner la Planification Familiale, le Sénégal a rédigé un Plan d’Action National 2012-2015 (PANPF). Le principal objectif de ce plan est d’offrir les services de la planification familiale à 350 000 femmes additionnelles en union et d’atteindre un taux de prévalence contraceptive de 27% en 2015. 

Local People of Various Ages and Professions Trained to Promote Family Planning in Senegal
December 2016 | Summary

In Senegal, Advancing Partners and Communities designed an approach to convince non-traditional sectors and civil society organizations in regions with low contraceptive prevalence rates (CPR) and high unmet need for family planning (FP) services to support the Ministry's National Family Planning Action Plan (NFPAP).   

How Data is Strengthening Community Health Systems in Zimbabwe
December 2016 | Publication

In Zimbabwe, district health executive (DHE) teams are using community scorecard data to understand major health challenges facing local communities and taking action to reduce barriers to care. 

Understanding the Challenges of Delivering Community Maternal and Child Health Services in a Post-Ebola Context
October 2016 | Infographic

Following the Ebola epidemic, Sierra Leone faces challenges to rebuilding its community health system. This infographic helps explain the challenges of delivering community maternal and child health services in a post-Ebola context.

Program Overview: Sierra Leone, Liberia & Guinea
October 2016 | Publication

The Ebola Transmission Prevention and Survivor Services Program (ETP & SS) launched in July 2016 and is operating under the umbrella of priorities set by USAID’s Global Health Ebola Team. The program works with ministries of health and nongovernmental organizations in regions of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea that are most affected by the Ebola outbreak.

Sierra Leone: Community Engagement Implementation Strategy & Toolkit
April 2016 | Strategy

Advancing Partners & Communities has drafted a community engagement strategy for adoption and use by all implementing partners in the project’s five districts. In line with the project’s goal of strengthening health services, the strategy focuses on district- and facility-level interventions and emphasizes the role of community health workers (CHWs). The strategy complements other community-based interventions.

Advancing Partners & Communities, Sierra Leone: Program Overview and Accomplishments
March 2016 | Summary

Advancing Partners & Communities received a grant from USAID’s “Ebola Response and Preparedness” funds authorized by the United States Congress to strengthen critical non-Ebola health services, in Sierra Leone. 

Below you will find links to resources created by APC and other organizations.

APC Resources

Female Community Health Volunteer (FCHV) National Survey 2014 Nepal
August 2016 | Presentation

This APC presentation highlights the results of the 2014 Female Community Health Volunteer (FCHV) National Survey in Nepal.

Female Community Health Volunteers in Nepal: What We Know and Steps Going Forward
July 2016 | Presentation

This APC presentation highlights the results of a study intended to produce a cross-sectional assessment of the Female Community Health Volunteer program in Nepal to inform future policy and investment decisions.

Dominican Republic Results: October 2015 to March 2016
June 2016 | Project Highlight

In the Dominican Republic (DR), APC project serves populations with the highest HIV prevalence by expanding coverage and improving the quality of HIV-prevention, care, and support services.

Sierra Leone: Community Engagement Implementation Strategy & Toolkit
April 2016 | Strategy

Advancing Partners & Communities has drafted a community engagement strategy for adoption and use by all implementing partners in the project’s five districts. In line with the project’s goal of strengthening health services, the strategy focuses on district- and facility-level interventions and emphasizes the role of community health workers (CHWs). The strategy complements other community-based interventions.

CHW Central - A Global Resource For Community Health Workers
April 2016 | Website

CHW Central, launched in 2011, is an online community of practice managed by Initiatives Inc. that provides a forum for online discussions and exchanges with public health professionals and program managers, policy makers and CHWs in the U.S. and across the globe.

Advancing Partners & Communities, Sierra Leone: Program Overview and Accomplishments
March 2016 | Summary

Advancing Partners & Communities received a grant from USAID’s “Ebola Response and Preparedness” funds authorized by the United States Congress to strengthen critical non-Ebola health services, in Sierra Leone.

What is ACCESS?
March 2015 | Fact Sheet

The APC grantee World Vision's ACCESS project is helping to address the issue of development organizations too often distributing wheelchairs without proper assessment, fitting, or follow-up as outlined in the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines.

Grantee Guidance Package
December 2014 | Guide

These generic grantee guidance materials are for organizations that receive USAID funding and need assistance meeting the funding requirements and compliance for USAID.

Guidance for Integrating the Provision of Injectable Contraceptives by Community Health Workers into Family Planning/Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy
March 2014 | Brief

This brief provides guidance on writing policy to enable the provision of injectable contraceptives by non-clinical community health workers (CHWs) and is intended for use by policymakers and influencers who are interested in changing national policy to support the provision of injectable contraceptives by CHWs.

USAID Flexible Fund: 10-Year Program Learning Document
May 2013 | Report

This report provides findings from a desk review of the Flexible Fund portfolio between 2002 and 2012. It presents an overview of the Flexible Fund’s unique model of combining USAID leadership, a technical support program, and a grants solicitation and management program.

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REDOVIH+ defends the rights of people living with or affected by HIV. The organization offers community and home-based care, secondary prevention, and advocacy through peer counselors and home visit specialists. REDOVIH+ provides HIV services for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender individuals, integrated HIV services for sex workers, and other support services.

The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) supports and strengthens The Salvation Army’s efforts to work hand in hand with communities to improve the health, economic, and spiritual conditions of vulnerable populations worldwide. SAWSO provides HIV/AIDS and community health services, disaster relief, and economic strengthening activities. They also offer seminars to raise awareness and train community members to eliminate human trafficking.

Save the Children Federation, Inc. invests in children’s education, health, and protection from harm. The non-governmental organization works globally to advocate for children’s rights in order to provide economic stability, better health, and emergency aid in times of crisis.

Seva Foundation is an international non-profit organization that supports community outreach and education programs to spread awareness of available eye care services. Seva Foundation’s eye health education programs focus on nutrition, eye injury prevention, and personal hygiene. The foundation has a network of local eye care providers, fieldworkers, female community health volunteers, savings groups, teachers, and others who help spread the word about eye disease prevention and services.

Sonke Gender Justice Network works with government, civil society, and citizen groups in Africa to prevent domestic and sexual violence, reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS, enhance sexual and reproductive health, and promote gender equality and human rights. Sonke specializes in working with men and boys to address the spread and impact of HIV and to prevent gender-based violence (GBV).

The Institut Bioforce Développement (Bioforce) is a non-profit organization that offers training and career advice. Bioforce offers a range of courses that teach essential skills and attitudes for individuals planning to join international aid organizations. The organization aims to maximize the impact of HIV/AIDs programs and increase the effectiveness of public health sector missions. They accomplish this through awareness, career advice, and skill development trainings. The institute also provides training for development professionals interested in advancing their skills. 

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides care to Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian refugees. Through the provision of essentials like food and water, medical care, and sanitation, the IRC assists approximately 140,000 Myanmar refugees as well. The organization also provides protection, legal assistance, and resettlement processing for abused women and children.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a U.S.-based, non-profit organization whose members serve as advisors to the nation on issues related to science, technology, engineering, and medicine. The society is comprised of peer-elected scientists regarded for their distinguished contributions to research. NAS members actively contribute to the scientific community domestically and abroad. Over 500 NAS members have won Nobel Prices, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal is internationally recognized.

The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects. Our 35,000 clubs carry out sustainable service projects that support our six causes. With donations like yours, we’ve wiped out 99.9 percent of all polio cases. Your donation also trains future peacemakers, supports clean water, and strengthens local economies.

Founded in 1996, UCP Wheels for Humanity increases access to mobility for children, teens and adults with physical disabilities in developing countries. Their goal is to make strategic investments in communities that leverage existing capacities and empower local stakeholders.

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February 18, 2016 | Event

The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals is holding a webinar on emergency contraception this Thursday, February 18 at 1 p.m. EST. The webinar will cover the mechanism of action of different EC methods, safety and side effects.

December 03, 2015 | Event

On Friday, November 4, The Advancing Partners & Communities (APC) project is hosting a dissemination meeting to present to key partners the findings and recommendations from an assessment of the health and social needs of trans persons in the Dominican Republic. The assessment was carried out in collaboration with the Center for Integrated Training and Research (COIN) with academic support from the Iberoamericana University (UNIBE), and the active participation of community-based organizations representing trans communities in the Dominican Republic.

The meeting will include work group sessions to encourage partners to use the assessment findings and begin planning follow up activities. Approximately 75 representatives from government, civil society, and donor agencies are expected to attend the event.

Join us as we work to integrate the needs of trans people into the national agenda.

December 01, 2015 | Event

On Tuesday, December 1, at 9 a.m. EST, the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3), with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is hosting the first webinar in a series of three that focus on increasing the demand for life-saving underutilized commodities for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH). This webinar will bring together technical experts in gender and RMNCAH programming to share best practices and experiences in developing effective programs to reach and work with men and boys in resource-constrained settings.

November 19, 2015 | Announcement

The votes are in for USAID Learning Lab’s Collaborating, Learning and Adapting case competition! Advancing Partners and Communities’ story about social inclusion of transgender (trans) persons in the Dominican Republic (DR) is the Fan Favorite winner! Inclusion, Not Exclusion follows the story of Valentina, a trans woman living in the DR, as she overcomes stigma and discrimination to advocate for the equal rights of trans persons in her country.

November 13, 2015 | Announcement

Through Advancing Partners & Communities (APC), FHI 360 has developed the first mobile phone applications based on the traditional paper-based Family Planning Checklists.

November 02, 2015 | Announcement

The USAID ASSIST Project has just launched an eLearning course on Improving Health Care Quality through USAID’s Global Health eLearning Center. Free and open to learners from around the world, this course is the first of its kind to focus on quality improvement approaches and methodologies for low-resource settings.

November 04, 2014 | Announcement

Nakuru County, through the Ministry of Health, has launched a global pilot project of delivering wheelchairs to individuals in need. ACCESS (Accelerating Core Competencies for Effective Wheelchair Services and Support) is supported by the Wold Vision, Motivation and USAID in partnership with Association for Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) and the Kenya government.

July 11, 2014 | Blog

In honor of World Population Day, Kate Plourde and Joy Cunningham, Technical Officer and Advisor for APC respectively, address APC's work with youth as part of a comprehensive approach to strengthening community health systems. 

July 03, 2014 | Blog

UCP Wheels for Humanity staff participated in startup meetings for the El Salvador portion of the USAID-funded ACCESS (Accelerating Core Competencies for Effective Wheelchair Service and Support) project from June 24-26 and Nicaragua from July 1-3. ACCESS aims to strengthen and develop the wheelchair sector across five countries including Kenya, India, Nicaragua, Romania, and El Salvador.

July 19, 2013 | Announcement

On behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Population and Reproductive Health (PRH), Advancing Partners & Communities (APC) has awarded a grant to the Sonke Gender Justice Network to strengthen gender equality and family planning in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Check back again for related photo galleries or videos.

Dr. Bouathep Phoumindr

As the only qualified doctor specializing in medical rehabilitation in Lao PDR, Associate Professor Dr. Bouathep Phoumindr is passionate about mentoring the next generation of doctors in physical medicine.

With the support of USAID’s Childhood Blindness Grant, Seva Foundation contributed to building the Angkor Hospital for Children’s (AHC) capacity to provide pediatric eye care, improved the clinical diagnosis of eye disease and expanded community outreach programs in Cambodia.

Ms. Wongkham Seepanya

Ms. Wongkham Seepanya, a Vientiane-based pediatric physical therapist at the Center for Medical Rehabilitation (CMR), attended a two-month Occupational Therapy Training at Khon Kaen University (KKU), supported by the USAID-funded World Education TEAM Project.

Sum Srey Norng is a 15 year old female who lives with her parents and 4 siblings in Bor Em Village, Rominh Commune, Koh Andeth District, Ta Keo Province, Cambodia. In April 2014, she was in a traffic accident when she crossed a road to collect lotus roots and fruit to sell.

Ruban with his new equipment

Mykola Ruban an internally displaced person and wheelchair user from Ukraine received support from United Cerebral Palsy Wheels to pursue a new skill and give back to his community.

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