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Capacity building is a conceptual approach to development that focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhabit people, governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations from realizing their developmental goals while enhancing the abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results. The term was initially used by UNDP in early 70’s to offer guidance to its staff and governments on what was considered “institution building.” In 1991, the term evolved to be “capacity building.” As par UNDP definition capacity building as a long-term continual process of development that involves all stakeholders; including ministries, local authorities, non-governmental organizations, professionals ,community members , academics and more. Capacity building uses a country’s human, scientific, technological, organizational, and institutional and resource capabilities. The goal of capacity building is to tackle problems related to policy and methods of development, while considering the potential, limits and needs of the people of the country concerned.

In the technical field of disaster risk management, according to the definition provided by UN/ISDR, capacity building involves those "efforts aimed to develop human skills or societal infrastructures within a community or organization needed to reduce the level of risk. In extended understanding, capacity building also includes development of institutional, financial, political and other resources, such as technology at different levels and sectors of the society.

According to the disaster risk reduction agenda set up by the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, Capacity Building (CB) in disaster management is a cross-cutting issue: expertise and resources are available worldwide, however due to information overload and lack of effective harmonization amongst actors, the use of these resources is not optimized.

It is important that the capacities of communities along with other role players are built to observe, understand and prepare themselves for the worst impact. It is important to allow transparency of actions of the nodal agencies working towards mitigation measures to encourage all stakeholders get involved, so that at the time of occurrence of disaster, they are prepared to take challenges of all sorts and react in an efficient and planned manner.

Capacity building of the community, government and other role-players to understand the risk causes, prevention, mitigation and emergency response helps by reducing vulnerability and occurrence of hazards or containing them from realization as disasters.

Source: Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Reduction in Recovery Management, International Recovery Platform: irp-capacitybuilding.delnetitcilo.net/home

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