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Document Abstract
Published: 1 Jan 2000

DOSA (Discussion-Oriented Organizational Self-Assessment) as a tool to measure and build organisational capacity: lessons from the field

Focussed discussion can lead to organisational capacity development as well as capacity assessment
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DOSA was developed for USAID/PVC to asssess longitudinally its impact on the organisational capacities of Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs). Although developed exclusively for organisational capacity assessment and data-generation, experience has shown that DOSA also leads to organisational capacity building.

The study addresses three principal questions:

  • What specific changes is organisational capacity can be attributed to a PVO's participation in DOSA?
  • In which areas and to what degree are PVOs likely to experience changes (both positive and negative) in their DOSA assessment scores?
  • What are DOSAs strengths and limitations in promoting organisational capacity development among PVO users?

Major conclusions include:

  • focussed discussion leads to capacity development as well as capacity assessment
  • diffences of opinion voiced in the DOSA process can be a source of profound learning, growth and change
  • once alerted to serious deficiencies in performance through DOSA debriefings PVOs made authentic efforts to improve in those areas identified as weak
  • DOSAs create clusters of change and encourages users to establish causal connections among different dimensions therefore allowing PVOs to derive multi-faceted change strategies from DOSA results
  • longtitudinal data, or multiple "report cards" create a commitment to change as well as an ability to track the results of change efforts
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