Guide to Assessing Management Capacity Among Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)



To assist non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and program managers assess management strengths and weaknesses so that they can jointly formulate and implement a management development program.


The management capacity assessment is divided into nine parts: 1) organizational profile, 2) knowledge of the community, 3) planning, 4) human resource management, 5) managing community workers, 6) management information systems, 7) commodity logistics management, 8) financial management, and 9) health facilities. Several of the topics are divided into a general management module and a family planning management module. Each module stands alone so that modules can be added or deleted in response to the characteristics of the NGO. Each module generates a score; the scores are intended as an aid to identify areas of relative weakness. The scores also provide a way of tracking changes in management capacity over time, so that the impact of management development interventions can be assessed.

Developed by:

CARE in a global effort in 1993.

Intended Users:

The tool is intended for use at the institutional and programmatic levels by NGO project managers. It was developed by CARE to determine strengths and weaknesses of organizations where family planning services might potentially be offered, in order for CARE and the NGO to jointly develop and implement a management development plan. Nonetheless the tool can be used by other organizations.


This tool has been used most extensively in Bangladesh and Haiti. In 1993, the tool was first used in Bangladesh to provide baseline information. It was subsequently used twice a year as a basis for six month action plans and to identify areas for management development. The final evaluation of this tool demonstrated eight-fold increases in logistics management and personnel management for the NGOs over the 1993 baseline. The tool was also used in 1996 in Haiti, to collect baseline information on partner NGOs. Scores were aggregated by different management categories to determine priorities for organizational development.


Comprehensive tool for self- assessment of organizational capabilities.


Time-consuming, it takes about one and half days to complete the entire assessment although it can be shortened by using only selected modules.

Recommendations for Users:

Appropriate in projects where organizational development is a priority, such as work with local NGOs. Effectively used as a pre/post test for management improvement interventions.

Reports and Publications:

The tool is included in the CARE Population Program Guidelines Collection.


Data collection forms and guidelines in French and English.


Catharine McKaig
Senior Program Officer
151 Ellis Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-2439