Purpose: To discuss: (a) physical, human, organizational, social, and cultural capital and (b) empowerment as two theoretical foundations for building capacity. Methods. These theoretical notions are examined in an analysis of a joint project between the Department of Nursing, University of Ghana and the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Canada. Findings: Capacity for the management of international development projects was enhanced at both sites. Building capacity required mutual trust, tolerance of ambiguity, and a willingness to step into the unknown.
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