This entry describes historical development and definitions of capacity building. Capacity building refers to a wide array of activities that strengthen the ability of people and organizations to formulate solutions to problems and achieve objectives. The term gained considerable attention in the early 1970s and emerged as a leading concept in international policy in the late 1990s. This entry also provides various conceptualizations and applications of capacity building in a variety of contexts through all phases of the human life course. The concluding section addresses the benefits of successful capacity building for the society. Capacity building is a relevant topic for lifespan human development because of the emphasis on development of human resources in all phases of the life course.

History and Definitions

The term capacity building ...

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