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OCA | Organisational Capacity Assessment

What is OCA?

OCA supports civil society organisations to:

Identify organisational
strengths and needs
Develop a plan for capacity
development support
Build ownership and excitement for a capacity development process

The AKDN’s Organisational Capacity Assessment Framework consists of 5 Capacity Areas.

The OCA tools are customisable to various organisational types.

What are the principles of OCA?

OCA tools and processes are contextualised to the organization being assessed.
Organisations score themselves. OCA is not
a recommended tool for reporting to donors.
Assessments engage as many people from the organisation as possible.

Assessment processes are designed
to minimize burden.

An OCA is only completed where we have resources and intention to provide follow-up support.

Results are validated with the organization and used as the basis for a strengthening plan.

Where they exist, national certification/self-regulation bodies should be used.
If an assessment has been completed within 12 months, these results are used to develop a strengthening plan.

What do these terms mean?

Framework

Overall structure of the AKDN’s approach to Organisational Capacity Assessment.
5 Capacity Areas, benchmarks on a scale from 1 to 4.

Capacity Area

Overarching capacity categories (e.g. systems, activities, relationships, adaptability, culture)

Sub-capacity Area

Capacity categories within capacity areas (e.g. Within “System” sub-capacity areas may include: Governance, Finance, etc.) Not all tools or capacity areas require sub-capacity areas

Capacity Element

Specific capacity categories within each capacity area (e.g. operations, human resources, mission/vision)

Benchmark

A specific description of each level (1 to 4). Descriptions are simple, but provide enough information to distinguish between levels.

Capacity

The strength of an organisation. Capacity scores are calculated using the average participant scores for each capacity element.

Consensus

The level of agreement about different capacity areas. Calculated by analysing the standard deviation of scores for each capacity element.

Ready to get started?

Tool Design Customisation
Assessment
Debrief & Planning
Capacity Strengthening
Gather representatives of organisations to be assessed and other relevant stakeholders, introduce the OCA purpose and process; explore capacities needed for success in country and programme context; review and customise similar tools; finalise the customised assessment tool; frame organisational capacity as a series of elements with benchmarks for excellence
Gather diverse organisational participants including management, staff, directors and volunteers; re-introduce OCA process, purpose and timeline; facilitate participants through discussions and activities related to each capacity area; encourage diverse viewpoints and perspectives; enable self-assessment of statements of excellence by participants.
Gather the same group of participants as took part in the OCA assessment; re-introduce OCA purpose and process; share the results of the self-assessment; discuss the implications of the results; identify what the organisation is ready to do to improve; examine resources available for organisational strengthening.
A mixed approach employing both expert and participant-driven methodologies: Technical Assistance, Training, Blended Learning, Mentoring, Exchange Visits, Conferences. Focused around a relationship grounded in partnership and mentoring.
Tool Design
Customisation
Gather representatives of organisations to be assessed and other relevant stakeholders, introduce the OCA purpose and process; explore capacities needed for success in country and programme context; review and customise similar tools; finalise the customised assessment tool; frame organisational capacity as a series of elements with benchmarks for excellence
Assessment
Gather diverse organisational participants including management, staff, directors and volunteers; re-introduce OCA process, purpose and timeline; facilitate participants through discussions and activities related to each capacity area; encourage diverse viewpoints and perspectives; enable self-assessment of statements of excellence by participants.
Debrief
& Planning
Gather the same group of participants as took part in the OCA assessment; re-introduce OCA purpose and process; share the results of the self-assessment; discuss the implications of the results; identify what the organisation is ready to do to improve; examine resources available for organisational strengthening.
Capacity
Strengthening
A mixed approach employing both expert and participant-driven methodologies: Technical Assistance, Training, Blended Learning, Mentoring, Exchange Visits, Conferences. Focused around a relationship grounded in partnership and mentoring.

Want to learn more about OCA?

Facilitator Tools

 Tool Customisation
Guide
Facilitator GuideResults SheetInstitutional
Strengthening Plan
Russian
English

Download an OCA Tool

Organisational TypeCountrySpecific Organisational TypeLanguageOCA toolFacilitator Guide
Thematic Commmunity GroupUgandaSchool Management CommitteeEnglish
NGOAfghanistanEnglish
Academic InstitutionEgyptEnglish
Professional AssociationEast AfricaNursing and Midwifery AssociationsEnglish
Thematic Community GroupKyrgyzstanVeterinary AssociationEnglish
Thematic Community GroupKyrgyzstanVeterinary AssociationKyrgyz
NetworkMaliFrench
NGOMozambiquePortuguese
NGOPakistanEnglish
NGOPortugalPortuguese
NGOPortugalImmigrant AssociationPortuguese
NGOPortugalPortuguese
Representative Commmunity GroupTajikistanSUDVOEnglish
Representative Commmunity GroupTajikistanSUDVOTajik
Thematic Commmunity GroupTajikistanWater Users CommitteeEnglish
Thematic Commmunity GroupTajikistanWater Users CommitteeTajik
NGOUgandaEnglish

Customise Your Own OCA Tool

The tools below were designed by AKF’s Organisational Strengthening Community of Practice.
They serve as a good starting point for customising your own tool!

 NGO
Tool
Network
Tool
Professional
Associations Tool
Thematic Community
Group Tool
Representative
Community Group Tool
Russian
English