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Capacity Development

The term “sustainable development” has specific connotations in environmental, political and economic contexts. However, it is also an apt description of our ventures in building capacity.

At The Cropper Foundation, we have always seen ourselves as a catalytic organisation. One of the functions of “catalyzing” as an orienting principle is that it brings clarity to what might otherwise be a somewhat amorphous set of aims. The Foundation’s own material resources are limited. Our greatest wealth lies in stores of knowledge; the networks of which we are part; and a special commitment to encouraging and, where possible, rewarding independence and personal growth. It is through ideas and linkages that we are able to help develop and support the potential of individuals as well as specific projects.

The term itself, “catalyze”, has been used throughout this story of the Foundation. In many ways it is important a character as the founders, partners or any of the other people who have helped to shape the organisation. An idea of “giving back” to the places that nurtured us lies at the core of many of our activities. But what is the most effective way to achieve that? A prize is a good thing, but the personal trait or talent being rewarded is perhaps more significant. To recognize an act of humanity or generosity is simple; to appreciate the ideology of public-spiritedness is far greater. It is easy enough to praise an example of good work; harder to engender it.

The Foundation’s work in building capacity takes a less direct, but more long-term view: a sustainable one. And while capacity building runs through all the efforts of the Foundation, similar to the way the catalytic approach works, there are two main areas in which we offer specific support.

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