This Praxis Paper argues that there is a need to recognise and enhance these analytical and adaptive capacities in order to strengthen the organisational capacity of CSOs (i.e. to improve their effectiveness and sustainability in relation to their mission and context). This recognises that the current emphasis on strengthening the technical and management capacity of organisations, rather than analytical and adaptive capacity, has limited the impact of organisational capacity building work with its drives towards outcome measurement and results-based management.
The paper is not a definitive piece of research or a comprehensive review of all the relevant literature. It is a discussion piece which aims to stimulate a debate on analytical and adaptive capacities and their relevance to CSOs. As an overview and exploration of the issues the paper draws on fields such as organisational learning, strategic planning, change management, systems thinking and complexity theory.