A resource and capacity assessment can be used to outline the expected performance of a newly developed National Water Safety Plan in reaching its defined goals. ‘Resources’ are required inputs and assets, while ‘capacity’ is the ability, or conditions required, for plan implementation to occur successfully. This assessment can be used to ensure water safety plan goals and objectives are feasible and realistic when considering available inputs.
There are different approaches to conducting this assessment:
Incremental approach: looks forward by identifying existing resources and capacity available for plan implementation, determining realistic plan progression based on this foundation.
Gap analysis approach: identifies ideal future access to resource and capacity for plan implementation to occur, then looks backwards to determine current shortages and gaps, identifying approaches on how to meet these.
Stakeholders should perform this assessment during water safety plan development. Assessment should be comprehensive, taking into consideration both hard and soft resources and capacities. Some examples of hard resources and/or capacities are infrastructure, skills (human resources), funding and stakeholder networks. Some examples of soft resources and/or capacities are power dynamics, values and beliefs. The local context should be assessed in terms of political and economic structures and conditions which facilitate or impede capacity.
This is a pragmatic form of assessment which analyses the inputs required for the successful implementation of National Water Safety Plan.
If done correctly, it can act as a learning tool which builds relationships among stakeholders.
There is a time and effort cost to this assessment if it is done in-depth.
It is beneficial to carry out a resource and capacity assessment during the development stages of a National Water Safety Plan. It is an important part of determining resource needs and forms a crucial part of the larger framework for plan implementation.