4.1.5 Capacity assessment

The choice of new partners should usually be confirmed by assessment of suitability, and programmatic, operational and financial capacity. The process also offers an opportunity to discuss expectations and to identify areas where assistance might be useful.

Usually, a short visit (2-3 hours) to a partner is sufficient. Filling out a capacity assessment questionnaire as well as direct observation should be enough to give you a first impression. Assessments can be time consuming so be sure to keep it short. The size of the grant, duration of the program as well as the fact if the partner is known to you, will all determine the length and depth of the capacity assessment.

As an organization whereby gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is at the center of our work, having gender sensitive partnerships is a priority for CARE. As part of our assessment of partners for value addition, effort should be made to determine the following:

  • Does the partner have experience implementing gender sensitive programs?
  • Can we work with our partners to build their capacity, or learn from them, in gender sensitive programming?
  • Do CARE staff and partners have the attitudes, knowledge and skills they need to interact with marginalized groups such as women?
  • Do CARE and partner staff reflects a balanced ratio of male and female staff, including at senior levels?