Different elements of capacity become more important during different points in the SPF cycle. Your capacity needs may change as work progresses, goals are accomplished, and priorities shift or expand. It is important to continually examine your capacity and make sure that you have the resources required at each stage. For example:
- During Step 1, your group may need to assess its cultural competence and then build its capacity to integrate or infuse cultural competence into the assessment process so that participants in planning meetings, focus groups, and other assessment activities experience a safe and supportive environment.
- During Step 3, you may need to focus on learning how to implement an inclusive and collaborative strategic planning process.
At each step of the SPF, it is important to document and track your required assets and needs. This information will assist you in developing concrete plans for building your group’s capacity and tracking the implementation of your plans.
For example, after completing the assessment of needs, readiness, and resources in Step 1, your group might do the following:
- Review the quantitative and qualitative data collected
- Identify assets and resources available for preventing and reducing substance misuse and abuse in your target area
- Identify capacity needs
- If necessary, conduct additional assessments to further define your capacity needs
Next, your group should develop a capacity-building plan for addressing each identified need, building on the assets and resources you identified earlier in the process.