The project has already done an initial research in the form of an appreciative inquiry that delivered a set of draft competency standards for community based development practitioners and managers. In 2007, the project is building this by reviewing the draft standards developed through careful interrogation and understanding of practice in the community. The project partners will support access to individuals who have demonstrated excellent practice and their practice will form the basis of a competence standard review. Most of this detailed research will be completed by June 2007 – watch this space….
Sustainability within civil society, in our view, is core to a radically pragmatic approach to building sustainable communities. For the Institute, this means a detailed approach to capacity building – not through yet further training workshops – but through developing standards that are relevant, useful and transformative.Competent and capable practitioners, able to engage in their own career-pathing choices, at the same time as building a network of development practice training providers, is where we think a key intervention could be made in the NPO sector.The Development Practice and Management programme is researching the capacity needs of the community based civil society sector with the help of WC-NACOSA, AIDS Consortium and Community Connections as partners, and Investec as funder. The programme for 2007 is taking off with an injection of energy in the form of new staff member, Mariette Williams, who has headed the project since January.