Drivers for Sustainable Community Capacity Building

A Case Study of Eco-Life Initiatives in Malaysia and Thailand

  • Shelen W H Ho University of Reading Malaysia
  • Worawan Ongkrutraksa Faculty of Communication Arts, Department of Public Relations, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Keywords: Community capacity building, sustainable community development, enablers of CCB, eco-life initiatives, shared value creation, community volunteerism


The importance of community capacity building (CCB) has long been known but it has specific relevance to the developing world.  CCB focuses on enabling all members of the community, including the poorest and the most disadvantaged, to develop skills and competencies so as to take greater control of their own lives.  CCB contributes to local development and involves local leadership. Not only can communities be more cohesive but they can also be more resilient and better placed to confront economic and social challenges. Albeit many community-building projects are generally modest local activities that people pursue despite government (Mowbray, 2005), meaningful and effective CCB can be stimulated and fostered by government agencies, and by the capacity which communities have already developed, so that power becomes increasingly embedded within them. This empirical study discusses 2 cross-national CCB showcases of good practice where shared value community-development projects were supported by government agencies. The study investigates CCB activities, outcomes and enablers in the 2 case scenarios with insightful interviews with community members. The study explores drivers for sustainable CCB involvement in a community. The research output is resources for relevant authority to design and implement strategies to build, rebuild and sustain community capacity.  The study results also contribute to knowledge-base on creating shared value with community projects.