Pillars of Capacity

The sector has long recognized ways in which it is different from the private and government sector. It has its own perspective on how efforts should be selected and grown and sustained. It has its own measures of success, and its sets of principles and best practices. The use of data, specifically, presents unique opportunities and challenges to civil society.

We need strutural solutions to meet these challenges.

There are six pillars into which we can organize the work of building capacity for data initiatives in civil society. These Six Pillars are:

  1. Healthy Life-cycles
  2. Sustainable Models
  3. Governance
  4. Ecosystem / Network
  5. Digital Infrastructure
  6. Empowered Leaders

To improve outcomes for data product initiatives, civil society must not just meet standards set by the private sector, it will have to surpass them. It will need to find solutions that bolster instead of compromise its values and principles. The differences that make the sector unique will be leveraged as strengths rather than weaknesses.

I see these Six Pillars of Building Capacity as “connective tissue” rather than a theory of change. I don’t intend to propose through these pillars a lever for change or intention, but instead ideas that are woven throughout the work that I do.

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