Capacity development is the process of unleashing, strengthening and maintaining the ability of people, organizations and society as a whole to manage their affairs successfully. Being at the heart of FAO's mandate since its founding, it is a core function highlighted in the organization's strategic framework, encouraging countries to design and implement national policies that will help reduce poverty and foster food security and nutrition.
Real and lasting change in agricultural development and food security is driven by strong and sustained capacities. These capacities must be enhanced across every level of government, and should involve other actors such as civil society organizations, social movements, academia and the private sector. Thus, capacity development must take place across three different dimensions. A fundamental condition for a country to reach its development goals lies in its capacities at individual and organizational levels and in building an enabling environment.
- The individual dimension refers to the knowledge, skills, behavior and attitudes of people.
- The organizational dimension refers to the mandates, priorities, processes and structures of public, private and civil society organizations. It includes public and private organizations, civil society organizations, social movements and networks of organizations.
- The enabling environment is the context in which individuals and organizations work and includes a country’s institutional set-up, power structures and policy and legal frameworks.
Effective capacity development in right to food recognizes and addresses these three interlinked dimensions. It improves the knowledge, skills, behavior and attitudes of individuals; modifies the mandates, priorities, processes and structures of public, private and civil society organizations; and strengthens the political will, policy and legal frameworks and other elements to provide an overall environment that facilitates the achievement – implementation of the right to food.