Sometimes nonprofit organisations and advocacy groups use language that’s hard to understand. This even happens when organisations work with people who have a hard time understanding the kinds of words they use. What do capacity-building and stakeholders mean? This is a list of words that these groups sometimes use. I’ve explained what these things mean in simple words. I will be updating this list every so often, so make sure to check back.
Doing things that work. That’s what it’s supposed to mean, anyway.
Teaching, training, education or mentoring. Sometimes ‘capacity-building’ can also mean hiring more people in an organisation so they can get more done. Just say what you mean: teaching, hiring and mentoring are much clearer than ‘capacity-building’.
When organisations talk about ‘development’, they often mean ‘raising money’. They use the money to help run their organisations. They can hire more people with extra money. They can also get new supplies. They can help more people if they have more resources.
Sharing information with people or organisations.
Getting people’s attention.
Ways to help people. Sometimes these interventions really do help, but some can hurt. It’s important to listen to the people you’re trying to help.
Teaching, training or education.
Making things easier for people to understand. A kind of teaching. Some examples of knowledge translation include plain-language versions of articles, videos, and infographics.
People who care about what you’re doing, or vampire hunters. Stakeholder engagement just means talking to people who care about your project, or getting them interested in what you’re doing.
Answering people’s questions to help them run their organisations. Not to be confused with tech support. You won’t be able to call Microsoft Technical Assistance to fix MS Word.