3.6.1.3 Self-sustainability Guidance

Capacity-building refers to more than just training. It implies returning to the community its ability to be self-reliant. It involves a way of relating with the community that avoids dependence and strengthens both internal and external community collaboration. In practice, the difference between training-oriented activities and training geared toward the construction of capacities is vast. After a successful training workshop, the participants feel that they have learned. But after a workshop on capacity-building the participants feel they knew a lot, but now know a lot more, and that they are capable of dealing with situations they will confront because they will be able attain the necessary resources to do so.

Self-sustainability guidance above all relies on local human and material resources. It strengthens the relationships within the community and creates new external relationships. It allows the community to manage resources and increases the information and knowledge available.

Capacity-building ranges from the tangible to the intangible. No one single course can be defined as the correct path to capacity-building, because each situation is unique, but the following development can be articulated.

Capacity-building begins with the strengthening of community identity and aspirations. The community recognizes its world -- its myths, values, natural resources and the people themselves. From this point, the place the digital center will occupy in the community is defined. Community members continue by identifying their ideal situation (their dreams, some would say) and by charting a path to them. At this point, a plan now exists, and the community members know what training they require in order to attain their objectives. They can now start to explore their capacity to associate with others and to obtain the resources in order to acquire the skills they need to employ. The rest is a matter of training and resources, the visible and easiest part. The other key elements will clarify this aspect.