This Is What Capacity Looks Like: Building Development Muscle in Rural and Native Nation Communities

The Aspen Institute

It is often said that rural and tribal communities and organizations need more capacity to fully engage or solve problems in their regions. But what, exactly, equals “capacity”? What key components of capacity need to be carefully and intentionally strengthened so that locally led organizations in rural and Native nation communities can more effectively strengthen economies, health and livelihoods for all in their regions? What does it take for rural and tribal organizations to build capacity, and what barriers stand in the way?

Watch this video by the Aspen Institute to hear answers to these questions from national technical assistance providers, Indigenous leaders, and local rural development innovators. Gain insight that can help understand and explain capacity in plain(er) terms – and contribute your perspective to the mix. This event was held in conjunction with the Housing Assistance Council’s national conference.

Event resources


Shonterria Charleston, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, The Housing Assistance Council

Miriam Jorgensen, Research Director, Native Nations Institute & Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

Cheryal Lee-Hills, Executive Director, Region Five Development Commission

Linetta Gilbert, Managing Partner, Gilbert and Associates

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