A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action
Last Revised: Apr 05, 2011 - Initial Posting: Mar 29, 2006

State CAP Association Training and Capacity Building activities help strengthen and expand CAA governance, management, and program activities through (a) increased awareness of emerging trends and anti-poverty strategies, (b) skill building, (c) information exchange, and (d) access to materials and resources.


Please LET US KNOW if you are aware of other CAA TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING INITIATIVES that might be added.

Here are some examples of State CAP Association Conferences and Training Events.  Specific approaches to CAA Capacity Building have been developed by many State CAP Associations such as:

California Model of T&TA

California - Strength Based Needs Assessment
California - CAA Self-Assessment Tool: Defined Standards
California - CAA Self-Assessment Tool: Core Elements
IACAA Peer-to-Peer Assessment Process

Two mechanisms have been developed to help CAA’s in California determine agency strengths and best practices, as well as to identify areas for improvement that will result in strengthening overall agency effectiveness:

The Strength Based Needs Assessment is a two-phase process involving a brief self-assessment conducted by the agency itself, followed by an in-depth assessment by a team of outside consultants.  This process requires resources to support involvement of outside consultants and follow-up technical assistance.

The Self-Assessment Tool is for use by agencies themselves to identify strengths and weaknesses in order to recognize best practices, and to develop agency improvement plans.

Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies

IACAA Skill BankIACAA Skill Bank – The IACAA Skill Bank Program is designed to assist any CAA Executive Director who requires assistance for a problematic situation.  Skill Bank activities are usually one-to-one exchanges where staff from one agency may visit experts at another agency to share information, best practices, etc.

The IACAA Peer-to-Peer Assessment Process is a product of the IACAA Skill Bank.  A team of experts from within the IACAA network carries out an in-depth assessment of the entire agency or conducts a Head Start Peer Review that in essence is an entire review of agency systems.

Missouri Community Action Network

Missouri - CSBG Self-Assessment ToolThe Missouri Community Action Network created a CSBG Self-Assessment Tool to help CAA’s develop a picture of organizational quality, recognize best practices, and identify possible opportunities for improvement.

MCAN also supports a number of Professional Alliances, which are groups of Community Action employees who share similar job functions and goals.  These groups meet several times a year for training sessions, group development, and networking – Finance – Employment and Training – Energy and Housing – Human Resources – Information Technology – Internal ROMA Consultants – Outreach Personnel – Outreach Management – Outreach Management –  Missouri Community Action Directors Association (MCADA) - Professional Alliance Flyer.

Northeast Institute for Quality Community Action/NIQCANortheast Institute for Quality Community Action (NIQCA)

Northeast Institute for Quality Community Action (NIQCA) – The Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island State CAP Associations developed NIQCA as a way to coordinate a Self-Assessment and Peer Review process to help strengthen CAAs, recognize agencies of excellence, and support continuous quality improvement for all CAAs.  A vast amount of resources can be accessed through NIQCA's Planning Toolkit covering the following topics:

Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies

Community Action Leadership Academy (CALA) – CALA provides mid-level Community Action professionals with personalized and dynamic leadership training.  CALA is designed to help Ohio Community Action's future leaders develop five critical core competencies: Vision, Self-Knowledge, Communications, Management for Results, and Human Resource Skills.

Ohio Community Action Training Organization (OCATO) – OCATO was created to provide high-quality training and educational resources in order to support and build the capacity of the 52 locally controlled, private, non-profit CAA’s in Ohio.

Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies

Oklahoma - Self-Assessment Assistance Model Systems/SAAMSOKACAA Self-Assessment Assistance Model Systems (SAAMS) – OKACAA sponsors self-assessment teams for each agency scheduled for Head Start federal reviews in the coming year.  The Association brings together teams of experts that often include retired federal officials and CAA Head Start program managers.  The Federal Head Start Monitoring Protocol is used covering the areas of Health Services, Nutritional Services, Safe Environments, Transportation Services, Disabilities Services, Mental Health Services, Family and Community Services, Education and Early Childhood Development Services (ECD),  Fiscal Management, Program Design and Management, and Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment and Attendance (ERSEA).  These teams work with local agencies to meet the self-assessment requirements of Head Start and help prepare agencies for upcoming federal program reviews.  SAAMS is supported through a $106,000 annual state appropriation to OKACAA.

CCAMP BrochureSoutheastern Association of Community Action Agencies

The Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies (SEACAA) established the Certified Community Action Management Program to enable each CAA employee and every CAA to achieve high educational and professional standards in the fields of management and community involvement.


ROMA National Peer-to-Peer Training Network/NPtPROMA National Peer-to-Peer Training Network (NPtP)

Family Development Specialist Credentialing

Alabama – Rounding Out ROMA

California – Center for Community Futures – CAA Board Members TOOLKIT

Colorado – Training & Technical Assistance Scholarship Program

Illinois Community Action Development CorporationIllinois – Illinois Community Action Development Corporation was created to offer training and technical assistance to build the capacity of community action agencies and their non-profit partners to develop and manage affordable housing. In 2004 we had 4 2-day workshops on developing affordable rental housing. The Director of Housing Development provides technical assistance to our members on a range of topics. And we are working intensively with six community action agencies to increase their capacity through training and technical assistance.

Kentucky – Strengthening Board Governance

Massachusetts MASSCAP IT Access and Training Resource Guide


  • Training and Grants Manger (MACA staff position)
  • Strengthening Agency Management Systems (2006)
  • Project Management (2005) in partnership with Missouri State University’s College of Business Administration
    • How to Develop New Programs to Reach More Families in Need
    • Change New Programs to Become More Successful
    • Create a Customized Project for a Specific Group of People
    • Implement a Marketing Campaign to Gain Support
  • Step Up to Leadership – leadership skills training for low-income persons
  • Weatherization – various training events

Oklahoma – CAA Board Training


State CAP Association Training and Capacity Building activities help strengthen and expand CAA governance, management, and program activities through (a) increased awareness of emerging trends and anti-poverty strategies, (b) skill building, (c) information exchange, and (d) access to materials and resources.


Kenneth Ackerman, Virtual CAP Project Manager