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USAID Contribution

Capacity 2.0


This page organizes a set of materials that provide information and support around Capacity 2.0.  Capacity 2.0 is an updated understanding of how USAID and its partners can most effectively strengthen organizations. Materials linked below are grouped into core documents for defining and illustrating Capacity 2.0, measurement of organizational capacity development, and embedding capacity 2.0 approaches in solicitations and programming.

Capacity 2.0 in brief

Capacity 2.0 strengthens organizations through improving their fit to local systems. It posits that foregrounding connections and adaptiveness is more transformative than standardized “best practice” procedures. Capacity 2.0 focuses on adaptive capabilities through nonlinear approaches, networking and strategic partnering, shared ownership, learning through experimentation and feedback, data-driven decision making, and a focus on leveraging and developing capacity at the systems levels, not just at the organizational ones. For a more thorough review of Capacity 2.0 and how it updates our approach, you can see this interactive site.

As noted in the Suggested Approaches to Local Capacity Development:

“Capacity development programming ought to consider the functions of broader systems to which targeted individuals and organizations contribute, including encouraging that diverse citizen voices contribute to decision making, that development efforts are monitored, and that learning about development in the local context is fed back to help make local systems more adaptive. Decisions about whether and how to strengthen the capacity of local actors, as well as whether and how to engage those actors in implementing our programs, should derive from the understanding of the local system captured in the project design and updated through ongoing learning in implementation.”

What we do in Capacity 2.0

We examine how an organization fits in with other actors and organizations that create the greater local system

We select partners based on this broad analysis of the system and how helping the partner perform better will matter

We act as mentors and coaches to help partners understand how best to achieve their desired performance

We promote the importance of connections, communication, social capital, and “best fit” approaches

We enable partners to determine the desired performance and the best path to achieve it within their organizational context

We focus on recipient learning, adaptation and self-renewal

Measure performance instead of assessing capacity - We measure what the organization is actually accomplishing instead of it’s potential for action

Learn More

Core Documents


Other Materials

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