This paper engages in a critical examination of capacity development by service-providing international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), arguing that capacity development is a path to improve the sustainability of development interventions. In recent history, some INGO practices have undermined local and state capacity in developing countries; these side effects are illuminated through a case study of Haiti. This paper outlines principles for INGOs to employ when pursuing capacity development goals and highlights the challenges associated with implementing a long-term process, which are amplified in fragile states. This paper presents one model for capacity development through an analysis of Partners in Health, a health care INGO operating in Haiti. Partners in Health reinforces capacity through its community health worker program and partnerships with governments. Suggestions are made for further research into suitable monitoring and evaluation tools able to assess a long-term process, such as capacity development, rather than an end result.
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