Getting to Outcomes: Step 05. Capacities

This step provides a structure to determine whether the program(s) you identified during GTO Step 3 can be carried out effectively with the knowledge, skills, and resources of your organization and its partners.

What Is This Step?

This step will help ensure that you have the capacity necessary to deliver a program as it was intended. There are six types of capacities:

  • program staff
  • other staff
  • board and other leadership
  • technical
  • fiscal and other resources
  • partnerships/collaborations

By assessing capacity first, you can avoid program options that you do not have the capacity to implement and make planning easier. Completing the Capacity Assessment Tool for each program you are still considering will help further narrow down your choices and make you aware of additional capacity you may need, depending on the program you ultimately choose to implement.

Why Is This Step Important?

Understanding your organization’s capacity is important because

  • you cannot meet the goals and desired outcomes of any program without adequate capacity to deliver the program as intended
  • inadequate capacity, or resources, can cause added burden on staffers and other programs, as well as poor program implementation

How Do I Carry Out This Step?

With your program choices narrowed, you can consider several dimensions of your organization’s capacity, including staffing and leadership, technical, fiscal, collaborations, and other resource capacities, to implement the remaining candidate programs and to consider how you could meet any capacity needs identified in your assessment.

Tools Used in This Step

Capacity Assessment Tool

Capacity Assessment Tool


  1. Make as many copies of the tool as necessary to complete this task. You will consider six areas of capacity for each program you are considering:
    • program staff, including trainers, outreach, and managers
    • other staff—e.g., administrative assistants, survey data collectors
    • board and other leadership
    • technical
    • fiscal and other resources
    • partnership/collaboration.
  2. Go through each section in the tool and answer the questions to determine whether your organization’s capacity is adequate, and then, as appropriate, explain your plan to increase capacity. You should be sure to add to the tool any additional specific capacities that are required to implement your program. For example, some programs require two staff to facilitate. If you were implementing such a program, you would want to list this as a needed capacity in the Capacity Assessment Tool. Include volunteer staff to the extent that you will rely on them.
  3. If you discover that your organization lacks the necessary capacities to deliver your program with fidelity by adhering to all its core components, it is important to brainstorm ways to build capacity in that area. For example, if your trainers struggled to explain making a preparedness plan in a prior program, you may want to train them on how to deliver that content more concisely and allow them to practice this part. Or if program staff members lack up-to-date information on relevant topics, you may want to share with them some background information prior to implementing the program. If you determine that your organization cannot deliver the program because of capacity challenges, it may be better to delay implementation of the identified program while you take time to build the capacities that may be lacking, or you may want to select another program.


  • Completed by: LHD Project team/coordinator
  • Date: January
  • Program: ROAD-MAP
Capacity Assessment Tool: Program Staff Capacities
Capacity Area Capacities Considerations OK? Plan to increase Capacity
Program Staff Do you have the number of staff recommended for the program? Beyond the 3–4 program staff required to run the program, the ROAD-MAP requires 3 trained volunteers per site to facilitate the program at each site implementing the program. Some work needed We have existing agency staff to lead this program and train the volunteer trainers. We will recruit at least 3 volunteers at each of 4 participating senior centers to receive the ROAD-MAP training and then facilitate 2 ROAD-MAP workshops at their senior centers.
Does your staff meet the following program qualification: Education level Program staff should have educational background in public health. Volunteers should have high school reading level. Some work needed Will focus recruitment efforts only on those with a high school education or above
Does your staff meet the following program qualification: Years of experience? Program staff have experience with program implementation. Volunteers do not require prior experience before training. Yes None needed
Does your staff meet the following program qualification: Communication skills? Program staff and volunteers must speak English or Spanish coherently. Some work needed Will only recruit volunteer trainers who can deliver training in English or Spanish. Assess need for Korean translator.
Are your staff comfortable enough with the topic to effectively deliver the program with fidelity? Facilitators needs to be familiar with all ROAD-MAP components and fidelity must be monitored Some work needed

Training will be provided on ROAD-MAP. We will interview volunteers after they are trained to assess their comfort level.

Then, during the trained-volunteer–facilitated ROAD-MAP trainings at the senior centers, health department trainers will assess fidelity using the ROAD-MAP fidelity measure.

Have your staff received necessary training for working with the target group? Facilitators need to be trained to integrate the healthy aging orientation of ROAD-MAP for work with older adults. Yes None needed
Have your staff received sufficient training specific to the program? Staff and volunteers will be trained in ROAD-MAP. Some work needed We will host 2 two-hour training sessions with 12–16 volunteers from 4 senior centers and provide additional support to those who need or request additional time.
Other Staff Capacities What type of additional staff do you need to implement your program? No additional staff beyond core program staff and peer volunteers. Yes None needed
Do additional staff members have adequate qualifications to implement this program? N/A
Have additional staff members received necessary training for their roles for this program? N/A
Leadership Capacities How committed is your organization leadership to the program?

Public health agency leadership should be supportive of program focus on household preparedness among older adults.

It is important to also engage leadership at the senior centers to enhance target recruitment.

Some work needed Hold regular meetings with leadership at senior centers to make sure they are involved and supportive of the program.
Does leadership support the staff involved in this program? ROAD-MAP does not specify what type of leadership support is needed for program staff, but it can be assumed that health agency leadership is on board with staff dedicating work hours to plan, implement, and evaluate this program. Some work needed Talk to managers at the LHD about the benefits of the program so that they see the value of dedicating 10% of the 3-person team to this project. And talk to leaders at the senior centers to gain their endorsement and help recruiting volunteers and program participants.
Are there clear channels of communication between all leaders involved in this program? Staff leading program and senior center leadership (executive directors) should have clear communication regarding recruitment of older adults at sites. Some work needed A weekly conference call will be set up between program staff and program site leadership during the program’s recruitment period.
Do the leaders involve staff members in decisionmaking when appropriate? N/A
Is facilitation of organizational meetings effective? N/A
Technical Capacities Are any special materials needed to deliver the program? Handouts and a DVD Yes None needed
Do you need access to a computer or special computer programs to implement the program? No Yes None needed
Does the program require other technical components? Audiovisual equipment to play DVD during the classes Some work needed We will rent this equipment before the first class if needed at each senior center
Fiscal and Resource Capacities Printed materials (including curriculum and recruiting flyers Cost: $800 for 8 workshops at 4 sites attended by 20 older adults at each workshop. Yes None needed
Transportation Cost: $150 (300 miles at $0.50/mile) Yes None needed
Staff Cost: About $10,000 based on a 9-month time frame for the project Some work needed Hold discussions with leadership to allocate staff time to this project. Explore grants that can provide funding.
Number of volunteers At least 3 volunteers per host senior center Some work needed Will recruit 12–16 volunteers from senior centers
Equipment Cost: $50 for TV monitor rental Yes None needed
Amount of space Cost: $0 Yes None needed
Evaluation materials and efforts Cost: Project evaluator for 50 hours—$2,250 Yes None needed
Other: refreshments at senior centers for Cost: $800 (160 participants at $5 per participant) Yes None needed
Other:tote bags and pill containers_ Cost: $960 (160 participants at $6 per participant) Yes None needed
Total cost Cost: $15,010 Some work needed Depends on items listed above
Collaboration/Partnership Capacities Which community partners are key to the success of the program? Department of Aging Multipurpose Centers for older adults (also known as senior centers) Some work needed Program staff will conduct community outreach, building on existing relationships, to find 4 senior centers to host program.
Which of these already provide support for programming? Department of Aging Multipurpose Centers for older adults (also known as senior centers) Some work needed Program staff must continue and expand community outreach to find 4 senior centers to host program.
What other stakeholders in your community might support the program if asked?
  • Senior independent housing communities
  • Other community programs affiliated with Department of Aging Multipurpose Centers
  • Community and faith-based organizations
  • Public health nurses at health departments
  • Member organizations from the Senior Emergency Preparedness Action Committee
  • Community Academic Partnership for Research in Aging, consisting of local physicians, local pharmacists, and local businesses
Some work needed Program staff will conduct community outreach to involve these other stakeholders to expand the program to other sites or improve its delivery.
What stakeholders in your community could hinder implementation? None Yes None needed

Step Checklist

When you finish working on this step, you should have:

  • Completed the Step 5 tool
  • Developed an understanding of the key capacities you need to support your programming
  • Assessed whether you have the right levels of capacity needed to implement your potential program
  • Determined which capacities need to be further developed so that you can move ahead with your programming
  • Further narrowed your choice among potential programs to implement

Before Moving On

You’ve now reviewed one and maybe more EBPH approaches and programs for their potential to meet your goals and desired outcomes; their fit with your community and target audience; and your capacity to implement them.

It is possible that none of the programs on your list were feasible given the significance of some capacity gaps. This is because capacity gaps in people, in agencies, or in the general community can prevent good implementation. If this is the case, you can either circle back to Step 3 to find more suitable programs, or you might decide to take a break from this process while you work to develop the required capacities. Remember, capacity-building is a long-term process but can yield important gains for an organization or community. The capacity you build for a specific program may also be useful for other programs.

It is also possible that you are now left with more than one program that meets your needs, fits with your community and agency, and is possible given your capacity. If this is the case, one approach to finalizing program selection would be to convene a meeting of the stakeholders and present all the information gathered in Steps 1 through 5. The stakeholders can discuss the findings together and the pros and cons of each program. By iterating with the stakeholders, you might be able to identify which of the handful of remaining candidate programs fit the best.

After selecting a program and determining that you have the capacities to implement the program well, you are in the position to update your Logic Model and develop an implementation plan (Step 6). Plans for filling gaps in capacity will be addressed as part of this plan.

Up Next:

Step 06. Plan

This step helps you make a detailed work plan for delivering and evaluating the program you identified in Step 3 and selected at the end of Steps 4 and 5.

View Step