Capacity Building

Since its inception, the FHR has been involved in the provision of capacity-building aimed at developing skills, building expertise, and empowering local leaders of change. Our capacity-building initiatives have been implemented as part of our programmes funded by the EU and other institutional donors.

Capacity-building as a Service

We have expanded our capacity-building portfolio to include support for capacity-building programmes designed for other organizations or donors. We believe that over the last twenty years, we have gained relevant experience and knowledge and have established relationships at the local level, which can be an asset to other institutions.

If you are a donor or an organization looking to implement a capacity-building project but lack the necessary skills or network, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Why capacity-building?

Through our capacity-building initiatives, we provide government actors, civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and other public stakeholders with a skill set and expertise necessary to promote, protect, ensure and fulfil human rights as enshrined in the Constitution and in international law binding on South Africa. Our capacity-building initiatives are focused on increasing technical expertise and building and developing skills. They also help building a pool of locally-empowered professionals and experts, future leaders, activists and human rights defenders.

Who is the targeted audience?

Our wide network of partners within both civil society and the government allows us to design capacity-building initiatives intended for a diverse and inclusive audience. Through our capacity building initiatives, we target individuals predominantly from disadvantaged and marginalized communities, local activists and human rights defenders, women’s rights organizations and movements, governmental and state officials, professionals such as community-based paralegals, and members of civil society organizations. Sometimes our capacity-building activities bring together government, civil society and activists. This bridges the gap between grassroots and the state, and creates a platform for sharing ideas and opinions, interacting with each other, and building networks.

What is the subject-matter of our capacity-building initiatives?

Our capacity-building initiatives have focused on:

  • Strengthening national and regional mechanisms for human rights and gender equality;
  • The provision of technical expertise to community-based organizations, movements and coalitions, and government institutions;
  • Developing training materials to support the implementation of gender-related policies, laws and regulations;
  • The provision of capacity-building specifically to Community Advisory Offices (CAOs) on subjects such as family law, death and succession planning, employment law, consumer law, good governance, proposal writing, and financial and programme reporting;
  • Social cohesion;
  • The rights of LGBTI+ persons;
  • Transitional justice.

Who are our partners?

Although we have a wide range of expert staff members, we often organize capacity-building initiatives together with our partners. Our partners provide us with technical expertise and help us identify participants in communities and government. By engaging with partners, we also indirectly contribute to the sustainability of other civil-society organizations. We have previously worked with the following partners: UN agencies such as UN Women and OHCHR; the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR); Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA); Chapter 9 institutions such as the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC); the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE); and Street Law, to list a few.

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Capacity Building Contact Details:

For any queries related to Capacity Building please contact: 

FHR at

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