Kuwait Community

13 March 2023

Capacity Building Behind the Scenes

Mary Russo

Within the complex global web that includes all nations and international organizations there are plenty of non-governmental organizations as well as a variety of visions for these organizations, there are organizations that operate internationally or domestically, as well as those that target specific communities. Often when people think about NGOs they think about who and not what, frequently people’s minds think of the United Nations or the International Monetary Fund, these are well-established international organizations that work globally to tackle issues and provide aid to many. How did these organizations become successful on a global scale? They started with a vision and worked hard behind the scenes to create and grow their organization.  

Capacity building is essential to make one’s organization a success, capacity building acts as a tool for success in order for the organisation to reach it’s overall goal. In order to start to develop an organization, a vision must be established, this could mean targeting an issue or area of improvement that you wish to help improve for a vulnerable group/population. For example, Kuwait Aid Network targets food insecurity within the migrant worker communities in Kuwait. We began our organization based on this vision and it is what has fueled our work.  After this vision has been established you begin to explore various ways you’d wish to address the issue and create the changes needed. However, before starting NGO work, its important that an organization has proper practises within the internal structure and team in order to be sustainable.

The process of setting up an internal organizational structure must be done thoroughly to create a sustainable organization capable of achieving great success. The organizational structure dictates the organization within the organization. These include elements like the bylaws, employee handbooks and guidelines as well as marketing aspects like a website and social media. Each of these elements increases the productivity of the organization and helps it run as efficiently and as professionally as possible. 

To run an NGO, funding is needed for many elements in order for the organization to pursue its vision and goals. This money can come in the form of government grants or private donations/grant opportunities. There are many government grants that are accessible for NGOs in Canada, as well as there are programs established in different countries. Private grants are often offered by large companies and this allows for these companies to sponsor NGOs and develop corporate partnerships. In order to apply for these grants often you need to have an established organization, meaning some infrastructure is in place in order to instill confidence in the organization’s possible success towards its goal. Having a strong infrastructure allows for more organization which enhances capabilities to apply for multiple funding grants and have the proper documentation prepared. There are so many moving parts within an organization, and these moving parts often require money, for example, to pay employees. There can always be issues with establishing funding, however, with a strong proposal and infrastructure, one’s chances of success are higher. 

In conclusion, there are four essential elements needed in order to establish a sustainable organization; a vision, a structure of organization within the organization and funding resources. Often people overlook the importance of structural stability, however, without it one’s organization would have added challenges when striving for success. When you focus on all the elements mentioned you create a more sustainable organization, however, you should not solely focus on the infrastructure and stray from your original vision. All parts are equally important and must exist simultaneously in order for the organization to be successful.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Canada Kuwait Aid Network.”

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