Measuring Performance of Interventions in Capacity Building: Some Fundamentals

This paper is an attempt to define a set of fundamentals around which generic measures can be developed to assess performance of interventions in capacity building. The development of performance measures in capacity building is a complex exercise. The complexity arises from a number of conceptual and methodological issues, including the fact that the benefits associated with capacity building are not readily quantifiable and the rate of return to investment in capacity building cannot be derived without a significant margin of error. The paper notes that most measures are derived with respect to inputs, processes, outputs, outcomes/results and impacts and that there is an inordinate preoccupation with impact in the measurement of performance. Starting off with the input-process-output-outcome impact framework, the paper presents an approach, which examines measures from the point of view of the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, ownership, impact and sustainability of an intervention – elements, which it considers as the six fundamentals in the measurement of performance in capacity building. It argues that impact measurement on its own is meaningless in the assessment of the success of an intervention in capacity building until, for instance, the issue of the ownership of the skills and institutions that generate the impact and the sustainability of such impact has been addressed.