Mapping capacity in the health sector: a conceptual framework

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Author(s): LaFond AK, Brown L, Macintyre K

Year: 2002

Int J Health Plann Mgmt 2002. 17:3-22. 
Capacity improvement has become central to strategies used to develop health systems in developing countries. However, despite the growing interest in capacity improvement, there has been little consensus among practitioners and academics on definitions of "capacity building" and how to evaluate it. This paper reviews current knowledge and experiences from ongoing efforts to monitor and evaluate capacity building interventions in the health sector in developing countries. It draws on a wide range of sources to develop a definition of capacity building and a conceptual framework for mapping capacity and measuring the effects of capacity building interventiosn. Mapping is the initial step in the design of capacity building interventions and provides a framework for monitoring and evaluating their effectiveness. Capacity building is useful to planners because it makes explicit the assumptions underlying the relationship between capacity and health system performance and provides a framework for testing those assumptions.