Capacity Building

Capacity Building







The Capacity building program is one of the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ area of focus. It is aimed at ensuring that DPOs are run in an efficient and effective manner.

The Agency has realized that most DPOs in Zambia have felt to meet their objectives and their services do not reach the intended beneficiaries. However, it is important to note that the majority of DPOs lack the required capacities to provide interventions to PWDs. It is with this reason that the Agency has developed a programme  to strengthen and build the capacity of the DPOs. This will enable DPOs  to act as conduits between the Agency and individual persons with disabilities. Due to this realization, the guidelines are important to ensure the smooth administering of this program.


DPOs       Disabled Persons Organizations

H.Q          Head Quarters

ILC            Independent Living Centers

M&E        Monitoring and Evaluation

ZAPD       Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                             PAGE
(I)FOREWORD                                                                                                                    1

(II) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT                                                                                            2

(II) LIST OF ACRONYMS                                                                                                 3

(IV) TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                             4

  1. INTRODUCTION                                                                                                     1
  2. CAPACITY BUILDING OBJECTIVES                                                                 2
  3. CAPACITY BUILDING PRINCIPLES                                                                  2
  4. CAPACITY BUILDING VISION                                                                            3
  5. CAPACITY BUILDING STRUCTURES                                                               3
  6. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES                                                                      4
  7. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA                                                                                       6
  8. DISPUTER ESOLUTION                                                                                      6
  9. NETWORKING AND INFORMATION                                                              6
  10. MONITORING AND EVALUATION                                                                  6

Capacity is defined as ―the ability of individuals and organizations or organizational units to perform functions effectively, efficiently and sustainably.

Capacity building is an evidence-driven process of strengthening the abilities of individuals, organizations, and systems to perform core functions sustainably, and to continue to improve and develop over time .

Persons with Disabilities Organizations’ (DPOs) are organizations of or for persons with disabilities and may include associations, self-help groups, federations and networks. DPOs are essential actors in improving the participation of persons with disabilities in communities and ensuring that rights of persons with disabilities are fully realized.

Furthermore, DPOs support the development of persons with disabilities’ capacities by providing them with a common platform to exchange, share experiences and build a common voice.

In addition some DPOs are also involved in providing services to persons with disabilities such as Community based Rehabilitation, Education, Health Services and Economic empowerment, Assistive devices and providing Public awareness on issues of disability.

Most DPOs are incapacitated to fulfill their obligations to deliver quality services to persons with disabilities due to a number of reasons. These include lack of democracy in some DPOs, Financial Constraints and Management, Governance policies and Limited administrative capacity.

Due to these reasons, this has resulted in the loss of confidence by persons with disabilities as DPOs have failed to meet their needs and expectations.

In view of the above, the Agency has resolved to strengthen capacities of DPOs by addressing their organization requirements and also creating a link between the DPOs and the Government through building strong structures at the National, Provincial and Districts levels.

In order to achieve this, the Agency has come up with these guidelines which have outlined how capacity building programs are going to be implemented.

  • To improve the DPOs’ capacity in governance and management in order to improve service delivery.
  • To promote the participation of Persons with Disabilities in the democratic process within DPOs.
  • To strengthen National, Provincial, District and community disability networks.
  • To promote the establishment of Community based rehabilitation and Independent Living Centers (ILC) for persons with disabilities in society.
  • To build advocacy and resource mobilization skills of DPOs.


  • Equity – Capacity building of DPOs will be based on the need of each respective DPO.
  • Choice – respect of the Individuals choice of belonging to a particular DPO.
  • Inclusion – The agency in its process of capacity building of DPOs will ensure that various areas of focus and disability types should be taken into account.
  • Participation – DPOs shall voluntarily take part in capacity building programs in which the agency will be providing.
  • Partnerships: Encouraging the pursuit of a variety of partnerships as part of a strategy to increase capacity and advance rights.
  • Transparency: The agency shall employ a clear and open process in the selection of DPOs for capacity building.
  • Sustainability: Capacity building process will be aimed at making the DPOs self sustainable
  • Accountability: Leaders of DPOs shall be accountable to their members.

“To be excellent organizations’ that facilitates promotion of rights and development of Persons with Disabilities’ capacities so as to lead a productive, safe, dignified and independent lives.”

  • The ZAPD District and Provincial coordinators shall be responsible for identification and recommending of DPOs to be capacity built.
  • ZAPD H.Q shall be responsible for selection and disbursement of funds to the provinces, monitoring and evaluation of effectiveness the DPO capacity building programmes .
  • Other Partners also may provide Capacity building to DPOs in consultation with the Agency at District, Provincial and National Level.

This section highlights the roles and responsibilities of the Capacity Building program from National to District level.

6.1       National level

  • Policy formulation
  • Setting provincial ceiling
  • Implement the program
  • Resource mobilization and disbursement
  • Facilitate trainings to build capacities of DPOs
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Setting of standards and guidelines
  • Information dissemination and sensitization
  • Dispute resolution
  • Advocacy
  • Provide feedback to the province
  • Networking

6.2      Provincial level

  • Ensure that funds are received and are spent accordingly
  • Implement the program
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Assess the DPOs that have submitted for approval
  • Supervise districts
  • Keep a database of DPOs status
  • Networking/Partnership
  • Dispute resolution
  • Consolidation of reports
  • Provide feedback to the district and HQ

6.3 District level

  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Networking
  • Data aggregation
  • Public awareness campaigns
  • Prepare reports
  • Dispute resolution
  • Submission of names of DPOs that need to be capacity built, for approval
  • Short-listing of potential beneficiaries
  • Provide feedback to the community and the Province


For a DPOs’ capacity to be built it has to fulfill the following criteria:-

  • Must be registered with the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD)
  • Must have a traceable address/contact by ZAPD/the community where it operates.
  • Must have membership of Persons with Disabilities of 20 or more.
  • Must have a constitution.
  • Must demonstrate a commitment towards the group’s work and objectives
  • Must have a clearly stated area of focus.
  • The members must exhibit a sense of belonging
  • DPOs that report on their activities to the Agency stand a higher chance of being capacity built in their need area.
  • The DPO must show its relevance to the community.


8.0  Application Process

Administratively, the responsibility of the Capacity Building of DPOs Fund is given to the Department of Rehabilitation and Research. The Department of Rehabilitation and Research distributes application forms for Capacity Building of DPOs Fund to Provincial Coordinators for onward transmission to the applicants, Department of Social Welfare and DPOs in their own catchment areas. The Department receive application from DPOs through Provincial Coordinators which is the first point of contact for applicants in need the Capacity Building of DPOs Fund.  After being satisfied that information provided are eligible to apply for Capacity Building of DPOs Fund the Provincial Coordinator will submit the applications to ZAPD HQ.  The Department of Rehabilitation and Research meets to assess applications and select applications which meet requirement of Capacity Building of DPOs Fund Funding. The Rehabilitation and Research Department submit applications to the Director General for authorisation.

All applicants will receive a letter from Agency one month after submission of their application Lusaka HQ to inform them about the Agency decision in relation to their applications.  The dates for starting applying for Capacity Building of DPOs Fund will be advertised on the print and electronic media, website, emails, text messages, notice boards, listserv and/or newsletter.  Applications to be submitted after the deadlines will not be considered.

9.0 Completing an Application Form

All applicants wishing to apply for Capacity Building of DPOs Fund should follow the process shown below:

  1. Carefully read the guidelines and the application to understand the purpose, eligibility, criteria and overall process that needs to be followed.
  2. Request clarification or information from the Agency if there is anything that is unclear.
  3. Complete the relevant application form.
  4. Send the completed application form with all questions answered to the Agency by email, fax or post (if emailed, a signed copy must also be posted to agency). Receipt of the application will be acknowledged by the Department of Rehabilitation and Research.

9.1 Approved – If approved, the applicant must agree to the terms of the funding by signing a contract (the Funding Agreement). This will be enclosed with the letter notifying the applicant that they have been successful.  Two copies of this need to be signed by the applicant and his/her witness and returned to the Department of Rehabilitation and Research.  These will then be signed by the Director General and one copy returned to the applicant.  The funds will be paid to the DPO which has admitted the applicant. A deposit slip will be given to the applicant or student with a view to present it to the college.

9.2 Approved in Principle – This means that the Agency has approved your application subject to a satisfactory response to its request for additional information and/or amendment to your application.  Once this has been received a contract will be sent for signature and the process follows that in a) above.  The applicant may not be considered for  Capacity Building of DPOs Fund until the contract has been signed and returned to Agency.  Funding will be not used to pay salaries, rentals and or buy furniture and computers .

9.3 Declined – This means that the application has not been approved for funding and the letter from the Director General will include the reasons why it was declined.  Depending on the reasons, it may be possible to re-apply at a later date.  This will be specified in the letter.


9.4 Reporting Process

A report must be provided on each approved application to the Director General using the reporting form after the applicants has utilised the funding and no later than 3 months after implementing the programme.


If a DPO has had their application denied, they can appeal to the provincial coordinator within 30 days .The Provincial Coordinator will then be reporting to management on how he or she has disposed of these disputes.


The capacity building program shall recognize the importance of Networking and information sharing so as to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the program.


MONITORING- Monitoring will be done using regular visitation of the DPOs, monthly financial statements, attendance lists, acquittal forms and quarterly check of activities completed against plans or informal and formal discussion of progress with various stakeholders.

  • The monitoring will be done monthly by the provincial office and bi-annual by HQ.
  • The DPOs will submit monthly, quarterly and annual reports to the provincial offices.
  • The provincial offices will aggregate the reports from the DPOs and submit to HQ quarterly.
  • During the lifetime of the Capacity Building programme monitoring will be done by asking regular questions as follows:

-Is progress as expected?  If not, what is happening?

-Is expenditure in line with the budget?

-What changes are needed to improve the performance of the project and achieve the outcomes expected?

-What difference is the activity/project making for the organisation or persons with disabilities?

-Are any negative impacts apparent and how can these be managed?

21.1 EVALUATION- Evaluation is meant to make sure that the original objectives of Capacity Building of DPOs Fund are being achieved which has to be done every three years from the beginning of capacity building program.

  • It shall involve a final workshops and surveys with all the participants involved in the project.
  • An M&E plan will be used to determine the information that needs to be collected, the methods to use and who will be involved. Key questions to ask include:

-Is the rationale for the organisational development activity or project still valid? (This is important if there are plans to continue the work beyond the initial funding of the project)

-20% of the capacity built DPOs should be evaluated at national level…

-The evaluation team should include staff from HQ and province and should spend time with the DPOs in assessing the impacts.