Organizational Capacity Assessment Course Description

Organizations deliver the interventions (e.g. programs, strategy, policy) that we evaluate. Therefore, the ability to assess, understand, and advise organizational capacity development in relation to these interventions is an important skill set in the evaluator’s toolbox. This workshop will bridge theoretical concepts with practical, hands-on guidance for organizational capacity assessment (OCA), stressing a heuristic, systemic approach that can be adapted to different organizational contexts. It is appropriate for evaluation specialists or those who commission, manage, or use OCA. By the end of the course, learners will understand OCA, when it is useful, its key principles, different OCA frameworks, and practical considerations during the inception, implementation, and follow-up phases of OCA. Hands-on tools and resources will be introduced that can be adapted to a variety of organizational contexts to approach and support OCA.

This course is delivered in three virtual, instructor-led modules. Classes will take place online via Adobe Connect or Zoom. Each participant who completes all three modules will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Please contact us with any questions at

Please contact us with any questions at

Module 1: An Overview of OCA and the Scoping Process

Module 1 will provide an overview of OCA, why it relevant, when and how it can be used, and key elements of successful implementation. Participants will explore the foundational concepts needed for the subsequent modules and will complete the session with a clear understanding of when and where an OCA may be appropriate, and the key considerations required to support its success. A systematic four-step approach will be framed for planning and executing an OCA: 1) Scope the OCA; 2) Design the OCA; 3) Conduct the OCA; 4) Report and follow-up. The module will end with examining key scoping questions, summarized on a practical handout. 

Module 2: Moving from Scoping to Designing the OCA

Module 2 continues to examine step 1, scoping the OCA, including stakeholder mapping/analysis and determining who will lead the OCA process. It then focuses on step 2, designing the OCA, including the major existing frameworks used, their pros and cons, and the organizational contexts most suitable for different approaches. Each organization will be distinct in time and place, and OCA should be tailored according to the unique configuration of different factors and actors that shape the supply and demand for OCA. By the end of this module, participants will be able to think through the application of a variety of approaches, rather than diving deeply into just one.

Module 3: Conducting the OCA, Reporting and Following-Up

Module 3 will examine step 3, conducting the OCA, including specific tools and tips for conducting the OCA; facilitating meaningful data collection; the sense making of casual analysis; and troubleshooting potential challenges during the OCA. It will then look at the different ways the OCA learning can support step 4, which is reporting to support follow-up.

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