Using the Appreciative Inquiry Approach for Capacity-Building of Community Partners


This paper describes an appreciative inquiry approach to organizational capacity-

building of community partners working with two NGOs, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) and Share an Opportunity (SAO), to run and implement a community-based child development program called Visions of Hope (VOH) in several urban poor communities in Manila, Philippines. It discusses the difference between appreciative inquiry and the usual problem-solving approach to organizational capacity-building.

These community partners, also called Family Wellness Coordinators, were directly involved in this participatory action research in generating data through a four-step process: a cycle of activities that guide them, as a group, through four stages: discovery – finding out about what is most important, their best experiences and practices; dream – envisioning the future as arising from their hopes and possibilities they see; design – creating the structure, processes and relationships that will support their dream; and delivery – developing a plan for actual implementation.

Through the process, community partners, together with program staff, collectively analyzed these data to surface their core values which, when put together, defined the vision and mission of the program. These values further became the basis for establishing the capacity areas that are deemed essential in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the program itself.

This paper also documents how the appreciative inquiry process defined the organizational capacity indicators that will help monitor and guide the program towards fulfilling its goals. The use of an organizational capacity measurement tool designed by the partners themselves during the research process enables them to assess their progress and to plan more specifically to strengthen their development activities.


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Growth and Development

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