Capacity, change and performance - 5C approach

This document lays out the 5 Core Capabilities approach to organisational assessment.

In 2011 the Dutch government made it mandatory for NGOs (and trade unions) receiving subsidy to use this framework in reporting about capacity and performance of their partners. This document is the final report of the Capacity, change and performance study.

The information provided was supplied by Wouter Rijnevald, Resultante. 

Authors and their affiliation

Baser, H. and P. Morgan, ECDPM

Key features

This is a major discussion paper that proposes the 5 core capabilities approach to organisational assessment. The study’s purpose was to find out what it was that made successful organisations be successful and ended up with these five core capabilities.

This approach has become influential in the Dutch international development scene as use of it was made mandatory for those receiving subsidies from the Dutch government.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

I have used this approach a lot, developing it into practical instruments that help organisations reflect on who they are and where they could further develop. This approach moves away from objective, tick box issues to underlying capabilities. This openness to deeper reflections has been particularly useful for organisations that have previously used other approaches to organisational assessment.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

If you need to reflect on underlying capabilities, not just issues on the outside, this approach could be very useful.


Baser, H. and Morgan, P. (2008) Capacity, Change and Performance Study Report. (ECDPM Discussion Paper 59B). Maastricht: ECDPM. Retrieved from:

'Capacity, change and performance - 5C approach' is referenced in: