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ERIC Number: EJ959958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1326-0111
The Politics of Community Capacity-Building: Contestations, Contradictions, Tensions and Ambivalences in the Discourse in Indigenous Communities in Australia
Makuwira, Jonathan
Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, v36 suppl p129-136 2007
The recent hype and ascendancy in the discourse of community capacity-building has generated a lot of heated debate among development and policy experts on its applicability in various contexts. In particular, questions have been raised on the presuppositions inherent in the discourse and, more so, the tension that exists between theory and practice. This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing debate about the politics of capacity-building. While the paper begins by deconstructing the theoretical principles that underpin capacity-building, it seeks to show how the concept is covertly used to subjugate and create power imbalance between the "builders" (supposedly those with the power) and the "beneficiaries" (those assumed to be powerless), in the name of development and empowerment. Specifically, the paper seeks to respond to the following questions: What is "capacity"? Who needs capacity? Capacity to do what? Whose interest(s) is/are served when peoples' capacities are built? The paper concludes by critically examining the tensions, contradictions, and ambivalences from the canvassed responses to the questions above and suggests alternatives ways of looking at capacity-building in Indigenous communities. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)
University of Queensland. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072, Australia. Tel: +61-7-3365-1969; Fax: +61-7-3365-6855; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia