Cooperativismo y Desarrollo, January-April 2024; 12(1), e677
Translated from the original in Spanish


Original article

Capacity building in a context of social innovation for local development


Creación de capacidades en un contexto de innovación social para el desarrollo local


Capacitação em um contexto de inovação social para o desenvolvimento local


Adianez González Pardo1 0009-0005-2090-3527
Elme Carballo Ramos1 0000-0003-1260-7160
Edianny Carballo Cruz1 0000-0001-9628-1510

1 University of Ciego de Ávila "Máximo Gómez Báez". Ciego de Ávila, Cuba.


Received: 6/11/2023
Accepted: 22/12/2023


In the knowledge era, local development is directly related to the capacity of territories to respond to challenges in a globalized and competitive world context. Social innovation is increasingly integrated in discourses and political agendas, determining local development strategies. The objective of this work is oriented to: Design a systematization procedure for the creation of capacities for local development, contextualizing the main capacities to be developed in correspondence with the problems to be solved in the implementation of the Municipal Development Strategy of the municipality of Morón, in order to achieve an efficient and creative performance of the local individual and collective actors. For this purpose, the research-action-participation methodology is used, based on the analysis of a case study applied in a municipality with potential for development. As a result, the principles underlying the need to systematize the creation of innovation capacities for the performance of local actors, both individual and collective, in local development are defined; a tool for the derivation and integration of contents is proposed for the definition of the components of the capacities to be developed, a procedure for systematizing the creation and development of capacities is established and an approach to the creation of capacities in a context of social innovation for local development is made.

Keywords: innovation capacity building; local development; social innovation; research-action-participation methodology.


En la era del conocimiento, el desarrollo local está relacionado directamente con la capacidad de los territorios para responder a los desafíos en un contexto mundial globalizado y competitivo. La innovación social cada vez se integra con mayor fuerza en los discursos y en las agendas políticas, determinando las estrategias de desarrollo local. El objetivo del trabajo se orienta a: Diseñar un procedimiento de sistematización de creación de capacidades para el desarrollo local, contextualizando las principales capacidades a desarrollar en correspondencia con los problemas a resolver en la implementación de la Estrategia Municipal de Desarrollo del municipio Morón, para lograr un desempeño eficiente y creativo de los actores locales individuales y colectivos. Para ello se asume la metodología investigación-acción-participación, a partir del análisis de un caso de estudio aplicado en un municipio con potencialidades para el desarrollo. Como resultado del mismo, se definen los principios que fundamentan la necesidad de sistematizar la creación de capacidades de innovación para el desempeño de los actores locales, tanto individuales como colectivos en el desarrollo local; se propone una herramienta de derivación e integración de contenidos para definición de los componentes de las capacidades a desarrollar, se establece un procedimiento para sistematizar la creación y desarrollo de capacidades y se realiza una aproximación a la creación de capacidades, en un contexto de innovación social para el desarrollo local.

Palabras clave: creación de capacidades de innovación; desarrollo local; innovación social; metodología investigación-acción-participación.


Na era do conhecimento, o desenvolvimento local está diretamente relacionado à capacidade dos territórios de responder aos desafios em um contexto mundial globalizado e competitivo. A inovação social está se tornando cada vez mais parte dos discursos e das agendas políticas, determinando as estratégias de desenvolvimento local. O objetivo do trabalho está orientado para: projetar um procedimento de sistematização para a criação de capacidades para o desenvolvimento local, contextualizando as principais capacidades a serem desenvolvidas em correspondência com os problemas a serem resolvidos na implementação da Estratégia de Desenvolvimento Municipal do município de Morón, a fim de obter um desempenho eficiente e criativo dos atores locais individuais e coletivos. Para isso, é utilizada a metodologia de pesquisa-ação-participação, com base na análise de um estudo de caso aplicado em um município com potencial de desenvolvimento. Como resultado, são definidos os princípios subjacentes à necessidade de sistematizar a criação de capacidades de inovação para o desempenho dos atores locais, individuais e coletivos, no desenvolvimento local; é proposta uma ferramenta para a derivação e integração de conteúdos para a definição dos componentes das capacidades a serem desenvolvidas; é estabelecido um procedimento para sistematizar a criação e o desenvolvimento de capacidades; e é realizada uma abordagem para a criação de capacidades em um contexto de inovação social para o desenvolvimento local.

Palavras-chave: capacitação em inovação; desenvolvimento local; inovação social; metodologia de pesquisa-ação-participação.



In the knowledge era, local development is directly related to the capacity of territories to respond to challenges in a globalized and competitive world context. Social innovation is one of the important ways through which such capacity is manifested, which is primarily based on the use of endogenous resources (Pérez González & Lutsak Yaroslava, 2017).

Social innovation is becoming more and more strongly integrated into discourses and political agendas, determining local development strategies (Pérez González & Lutsak Yaroslava, 2017). These facts point to the fact that, first of all, there is the interest of researchers in this domain of knowledge, characterized by its strong practical involvement, determinant for its scientific potential in the near future.

In this sense, social innovation is understood as those behaviors, perceptions or attitudes that translate into new social practices created from collective actions aimed at generating social changes, regenerating the local economy and improving people's quality of life (Nijnik et al., 2019).

Innovation has always been at the center of reflections and discussions on the economic and social future of countries, due to its importance for development. Innovation models from a territorial perspective are the subject of a wide variety of studies in the scientific literature.

According to Hernández Ascanio et al. (2023), in hybrid spaces between sociology and economics, special interest has been paid to the subject of innovation, as can be seen in contributions made by authors such as Weber, Pareto, or Marx himself, authors in whom the economy acquires the status of a social structuring factor. It is precisely from these approaches that the main advances in innovation studies will be made.

Social innovation has proven to be effective in meeting social needs, as it has managed to drive transformation processes, from which progress has been made in the generation of inclusive and participatory community structures, and in collective strategic planning processes. Hence, it has acquired special importance as a necessary approach to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 (Ortega Hoyos & Marín Verhelst, 2019).

Pérez González and Lutsak Yaroslava (2017) define that the main studies on the subject, worldwide, point out that the challenges of the contemporary context demand the fundamental changes in the economic organization, but in a special way a change in the social and behavioral organization is expected where social innovation, at the local level, can generate the necessary positive experiences towards that direction.

At the international level, initiatives that prioritize the integration of innovation in social relations have a special relevance and effectiveness at the local and community level with the integration of civil society as a new actor, which for decades has been excluded. While, in Cuba, the social organization structures and integration mechanisms created constitute a strength, as a pre-established social innovation, which constitutes an advantage for the design and implementation of policies, however, they require the development of capacities to be more adaptive to the demanding changes of the socioeconomic environment.

Among the challenges Cuba faces are: identifying the knowledge needs and interests in the structures that make up the innovation systems and creating adaptive capacities to enhance creativity and efficiency, in accordance with the demands of the new markets in the extraterritorial frameworks without deprotecting the territories and the most vulnerable groups of the population.

Based on the analysis of the elements presented by Ortega Hoyos and Marín Verhelst (2019), as well as by Franch León (2017), it is recognized that, in these social innovation processes, participatory methodologies that promote the active participation of the community as the main agent in the processes of transformation and social change play a fundamental role. This requires mobilizing collective action and generating capacity to act, as well as implementing horizontal power structures and mechanisms for collaboration and the creation of networks and strategic alliances.

Similarly, it is agreed with these authors and with the approach of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP, 2013) on the need to generate local initiatives based on the exchange of knowledge (an aspect that corresponds to the principle of open innovation) and where Higher Education Institutions play a decisive role.

The development of the country, particularly of the municipalities, inevitably requires a strong process of capacity building, where knowledge and innovation are fundamental ingredients. This shows the need to immediately deploy a system of actions for the creation of innovation capacities in the individual and collective actors involved in the local dynamics to generate added and public value, in order to meet the needs and expectations of our population in a sustainable manner and in line with the priorities defined by the National Development Program and territorial development strategies.

But why approach the subject from the field of innovation capacity building?

Precisely, for these actors to be able to generate and encourage initiatives to transform reality with innovative potential, based on adaptation to the constant changes in the environment, it is necessary to convert existing capacities into dynamic capacities. Likewise, they must be able to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and the use of situated knowledge (open innovation) to design and implement effective social policies.

In the scientific literature, globally and nationally, there are several publications and research, among which Hernández Ascanio (2020), Hernández Ascanio et al. (2023), Núñez Jover et al. (2023) and Fernández González et al. (2023) stand out, carried out from different sectors and perspectives, demonstrating a great interest in trying to model social innovation and understand what innovation capacities are, how they can be measured, identify the type and level of them and how they impact competitiveness.

From all of them, a definition of innovation capacities can be deduced as a group of characteristics of organizations, understood as capacities or skills through which a better competitive performance can be achieved, through their correct management, which applied to the Cuban context translates into capacities to develop new or improved products, processes, services, etc., through the efficient and creative performance of local actors to generate added and public value in their management, with an impact on the quality of life of the population.

However, it is considered that there is little science on capacity building in a context of social innovation for local development and, therefore, there is a need for a practical methodological procedure that allows its systematization for an efficient and creative performance of local actors.

According to the network of University Management of Knowledge and Innovation for Local Development (Gucid in Spanish) and the governing institutions of development in Cuba, scientific research that contributes to the development of capacities that facilitate the efficient and creative performance of local actors in different scenarios is a priority, based on the principle that capacities is much more than offering training through courses or other variants. In any case, what is needed is to create interactive spaces for learning directly linked to social practice, as well as for exchange and cooperation among diverse actors.

Similarly, there are problems in the flow of ministerial and territorial managers' information on local structures, territorial dynamics, powers granted to the Municipality and management at the municipal level, as well as aspects of interest related to the economic, political and social development of the province and municipalities, which can be used for the development of dynamic capacities. It is important to note that this aspect corresponds to the result of studies conducted in other provinces of the country (Basto et al., 2019; Martínez Martínez, 2019).

As a result of this diagnosis, the objective of the work is oriented to: Design a systematization procedure for the creation of capacities for local development, contextualizing the main capacities to be developed in correspondence with the problems to be solved in the implementation of the Municipal Development Strategy of the Morón municipality to achieve an efficient and creative performance of the local, individual and collective actors.



For the study, the research-action-participation methodology is assumed as an epistemological premise, since it becomes a systematic learning process, since it implies that people carry out critical analyses of the situations (work meetings, processes or systems) in which they are immersed, induces people to theorize about practices and demands that actions and theories be tested. It is developed as shown in figure 1:

Figure 1. Action-Research-Participation methodology
Source: Taken from Altrichter et al. (2002)

The main techniques used were the review of documents through primary sources and a focus group with specialists for the design of the tool to derive the contents of the skills to be developed.

The working group was composed of thirteen specialists: nine from the Government of the municipality of Morón, four from the University of Ciego de Avila and one from the University Center of Morón. For this purpose, the proposal of the contents of the capacities based on the diagnosis made was circulated and, in addition, the need to establish a procedure for the systematization of the creation of capacities was explained in detail, giving the opportunity to those present to express their criteria as specialists in this regard. To this end, the structuring of the components of the contents of the capacities shown in figure 2 was evaluated.

To validate the proposals, a municipality of the center of Cuba was chosen, specifically the municipality of Morón, located in the north and center of the province of Ciego de Avila, with a total population of 70 595 inhabitants, residing in 19 concentrated settlements, of which two are urban and 17 are rural. It exhibits a dynamic socioeconomic context with high levels of social mobility due to the incidence of two essential phenomena: population aging with 18.1% of the inhabitants aged 60 and over, which shows the importance of inserting this population group more and more into the active life of the community and internal migrations with a rate that shows a stable growth.

This municipality is the second most important in the province due to its proximity to the Jardines del Rey tourist resort, and at the same time has 20 new economic actors and 23 local development projects. Several of these projects have a high impact on the population. It also has the only updated development strategy in the province.



Local development in Cuba is a discipline based on dissimilar experiences that define the work in the communities, and its studies are being registered and monitored by several teaching institutions and, in turn, it is advised by the Gucid Network, the Higher Institute of Industrial Design, the Center for Demographic Studies and the Faculties of Communication and Law of the University of Havana, as well as by the Center for Management, Local Development and Tourism Studies.

The current Cuban context is marked by the new constitution, which recognizes municipal autonomy, in addition to other decisions directly related to the municipality and which ratify it as a fundamental instance. This requires its strengthening as a basic link, for which the ongoing processes require greater capacities and, in particular, a defined path for its sustainable development.

For this purpose, within the framework of the country's legal system, Decree 33/2021 of the Council of Ministers: For the Management of Territorial Development, which defines the fundamental principles governing the implementation of this model of socioeconomic development in the country, enters into force.

Martínez Martínez (2019) states that "there is a lack of knowledge of aspects related to local development that brings as a consequence the fulfillment of some of its functions in an inefficient manner and the non-compliance of others". All this influences the lack of integration of all the actors for the achievement of common objectives that culminate in a better quality of life for the inhabitants of the territory in question.

The development of the country, particularly of the municipalities, inevitably requires a strong process of capacity building. The processes of decentralization and transfer of competencies, food sovereignty, the transformation of the energy matrix, the improvement of the habitat, the exercise of democracy and the strengthening of popular power, to name a few of the essential processes for development, demand strengthened capacities. Knowledge and innovation are fundamental ingredients of this dynamic of capacity building (Paz Enrique & Núñez Jover, 2021).

Innovation has been studied over the years through a multitude of concepts and from different points of view, it is associated with positive changes in various fields such as technology, economics, business, sociology, the arts or the many branches of engineering.

It is agreed with González Crespo et al. (2022) in considering that Schumpeter, in addition to introducing several classifications of innovation, including product innovation, is considered the precursor of the subject and also highlights the concept of change involved, as well as the social impact it entails.

Innovation -understood as the generation of changes or novelties of a certain relevance- has always taken place in all spheres of human life. However, the capacity to innovate depends on a number of factors, some of which are located in certain specific types of practices and others are related to general cultural traits, attitudes and prevailing values. It is therefore essential to establish policies that encourage and support the generation of innovative actions.

At the beginning of this century, it was concluded that territorial models of innovation lacked clear and analytically coherent concepts, so this field would require the development of theories with sufficient explanatory power. Since then and as a result of theoretical construction, not only has the conceptual notion of territorial models been strengthened, but also a new type of innovation -of a social nature- has been incorporated (Moulaert et al., 2013) that has a direct impact on development.

A literature review on the subject allowed determining that, as a result of research conducted, through the use of the bibliometric analysis technique, Pérez González and Lutsak Yaroslava (2017) identify four thematic groups to explain how social innovation is produced and how it contributes to territorial development. These are referred to -Social Economy, Local Government, Territorial Capacity Building and Theoretical Development of Social Innovation and Territory-.

In turn, they define that the challenges of the contemporary context demand fundamental changes in economic organization, but especially a change in social and behavioral organization is expected, where social innovation, at the local level, can generate the necessary positive experiences. In this sense, it is very important to highlight the need for innovations to be assumed from the particularities of each territory (Núñez Jover et al., 2023).

In this context, there is talk of capacity building for development, but what exactly does the category mean? As its popularity has grown, some confusion also seems to have arisen. The subject has been widely addressed from different scientific disciplines, which are summarized in the following table:

Table 1. Capacity-building approaches from different scientific disciplines





Vygotski (1995):
Historical-Cultural Approach
Complex process governed by the demands to the potentialities of the individual, from its zone of proximal development in correspondence with the particularities, possibilities and demands of the activity.

In the process of building competence in professional training, the essential thing is to control when, which and how to use personal and contextual resources according to the demands of the task, and this implies the conscious use of strategies (Pozo & Monereo, 1999).

Capacity development is the process by which individuals, organizations and societies obtain, strengthen and maintain the skills needed to set and achieve their own development objectives over time (UNDP, 2022).

It is the process by which people and organizations obtain, improve and retain the skills, knowledge, tools, equipment and other resources needed to do their work competently. It enables people and organizations to perform at a higher capacity (larger scale, wider audience, greater impact, etc.) (Fao, 2016).

Rubinstein (1986):
Typology of capacities
General: learning capacity of individuals.
Special: they determine the performance of specific types of activities.

Source: Own elaboration

As can be seen, the conception defined by UNDP includes elements of the others and has identified three points where capacity grows and is nurtured: an enabling environment (the broad social system in which people and organizations operate), organizations (the internal structure, policies and procedures that determine the effectiveness of an organization and that must be aligned with the environment) and people (the skills, experiences and knowledge of each person that enable them to perform). These three levels influence each other in a fluid way: the strength of each one depends on the strength of the others and also determines it.

Based on the analysis of these principles, the authors assume the integrated approach of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP, 2022), towards the development of capacities, innovation and knowledge, which is defined around three priority areas:

Therefore, it is assumed as a definition of capacity, taking into account that it summarizes the elements exposed above, the one understood as [...] the ability that individuals, groups, institutions and systems have to identify and solve their problems and to develop and implement strategies that allow them to achieve their objectives. This ability is aimed at responding to the needs and responsibilities of development in a sustainable manner (Costamagna & Larrea Aranguren, 2017, p. 91).

If it is taken into account that the creation of innovation capacities has to take place fundamentally in the process of learning by doing, in the territory, with the participation of trainers qualified for it and that the creation of capacities is a continuous process that in principle never ends and is much more than providing training, the authors determine that the activities to be carried out for their creation and development are called dynamic activities for the creation of capacities (CCA).

Based on these elements, the principles and premises of the multilevel capacity building program proposal for the strategic management of territorial development can be defined as the following:

In a study conducted by González Crespo et al. (2022), an analysis is made of the different approaches to capacity building and, based on them, it is proposed, assuming an epistemological position from the perspective of social innovation in local development, the creation of dynamic innovation capacities based on the development of these capacities in three fundamental dimensions: personal, functional and organizational.

Based on this study and the criteria of Paz Enrique and Núñez Jover (2021), based on studies conducted in Cuba, the main characteristics defined in the process of capacity building are the following:

  1. Capacity building for local development should be understood as a strategy that involves action-research-participation in the process of learning, negotiation and collaboration.
  2. It is necessary to create personal (individual) and functional (collective) capacities, which include some intangibles, such as: training, organization, behaviors, values, interactions and learning of local actors, trust and collaboration networks that can promote favorable environments for inter-enterprise, inter-sector and inter-institutional cooperation.
  3. Capacity building demands spaces for active citizenship, involvement of people in collective projects, which often requires the creation of new local institutions.
  4. The systematization of capacity building in a context of social innovation for local development implies the development of dynamic capacities that allow adapting to the constant changes in the environment. Therefore, it includes the development of personal and functional capacities as a set of knowledge, tools, aptitudes, values and abilities to relate, manage resources, coordinate integration mechanisms, administer risks and manage change to impact the organizational capacity of local actors, which implies a change of mentalities and skills in interaction with the environment to transform their performance with a direct impact on local development.

From the analysis of the data collected and the diagnosis made, it is determined that the principle of training and development processes still prevails, as established in Human Capital Management, which only contribute to the demonstrated suitability, in terms of the preparation required for the position, prevailing modes of training that do not correspond to the changing dynamics of the current context and the competitive demands of an environment in constant development. Determining the need to incorporate in practice activities that contribute to the development of capacities and, therefore, we proceeded from the following procedure:

1. In the municipality of Morón, as the object of study, the main capacities to be developed were identified in correspondence with the problems to be solved in the Municipal Development Strategy and, in particular, in the municipality's development lines and programs. Based on the creation of a working group for capacity building in the municipality and the specialists selected in correspondence with the capacities to be created and developed, the main capacities to be developed in the municipality of Morón are identified:

  1. Strategic capacity for development. Design and management of Municipal Development Strategy
  2. Governance/Enterprise Management System based on science and innovation
  3. Local legal management
  4. Design and management of projects and local and business development.
  5. Innovation of local touristic products
  6. Capacity for the management of the Food Sovereignty and Security Program
  7. Capacity for popular participation and control in the management of neighborhood/community vulnerability
  8. Local production of construction materials

2. A focus group is convened with specialists to define in a first approximation the components of the contents of the identified capacities, using a didactic tool to derive and integrate the contents to be developed, as shown in figure 2.

It should be noted that the specialists consulted consider that this proposal meets the elements to be effective and that there are real possibilities for its application. In addition, it contains elements that make it go beyond the traditional concept of training, boosting capacities to adapt to changes in the environment.

Figure 2. Structuring of the components of the capacities' contents
Source: Own elaboration

3. Systematization of capacity building. It is oriented according to the sequence represented in figure 3.

3.1. Definition of the life cycle of the capacity to be developed. The level reached, the need and importance of the capacity identified and/or to be developed is defined on a scale of 1-5. If the capacity is associated with a product, service, technology or process, the working group and the experts convened will specify at what stage of the cycle it is: introduction, growth, maturity or decline. To a large extent, it allows the starting point and sequence to be developed in the creation of capacities.

3.2. Diagnosis. It specifies why and why not to create and develop the capacity. The opportunities, obstacles, participating actors and contexts associated with the capacity under study are identified. The working group and experts convened carry out documentary analysis, derived from reports, controls, balance sheets, statistical information, etc., from observations, surveys, interviews, etc. The contexts may be: economic (CE), socio-cultural (CS), environmental (CA), technological (CT), market (CM), among others.

Figure 3. Sequence to be followed in capacity building
Source: Own elaboration

3.3. Knowledge sources are defined and ideas are generated. The working group identifies internal and external knowledge sources that can provide the necessary knowledge and expertise to develop the different components of the capacity building activities. The sources include the University, the Cum, Research Centers, Experts and actors that accumulate recognized situated knowledge. A knowledge map is constructed.

The generation of ideas is associated with determining the requirements of the client-users (RC-U) and the population in general, linked to the product, service or process that supports the creation of the capacity being trained. Different instruments and tools can be used to find out what the population wants and demands and their levels of satisfaction. Product specifications and possible solutions (ES-PS) are part of the conditions and requirements to be specified in the products, services or processes from the assessments to be carried out in order to design an offer oriented to the satisfaction of the identified demands.

3.4. Dynamizing activities for the capacity building. The content of the ACC (in Spanish) is nourished by the sources of knowledge identified and the generation of ideas with a strong influence of the contexts most relevant to the capacity to be developed, taking into account the opportunities, obstacles and actors involved.

The development of the most effective ACC in the case of Morón was linked to on-the-job training activities (AEPT in Spanish), with particular emphasis on learning-by-doing workshop activities (ATAH is Spanish) with a participatory training-action-training approach, based on teamwork, so that they learn by doing, closely linked to their social practice-performance in the workplace.

In capacity building it is necessary to influence each of its components, as summarized: Values are systematized and modified in capacity building (CC in Spanish) and in performance; personal traits are learned to be managed; skills are learned in practice and in performance; knowledge is learned by studying and in performance; attitudes are modified according to motivation; interactions are contextualized according to interactivity, chaining and collaboration needs and resources, tools, equipment, infrastructure, financing, etc., are managed and used according to availability and need.

In turn, the dynamic activities contribute to meeting the requirements of the target population and the specifications of the products, services and processes that are articulated.

3.5. Generation of value to the chains identified with the capacity to be created and the results/transformations to be achieved.

When a capacity is created and developed, the intentionality to be achieved is defined and the added value to be contributed to the binding chain is implicit; in the case of municipalities, it can be oriented to public management and to the productive and service chains that are expressed in each scenario studied. This added value is part of the results and transformations to be achieved, which in most cases become new or improved products, services or processes, thus bringing us closer to local innovation.

3.6. Socialization: is part of the organizational communication strategy of the municipality, with special monitoring of the contexts, actors involved and the results-transformations, aimed at enhancing compliance with the objectives and goals proposed in the Municipal Development Strategy, aligned with the defined strategic lines and programs. Socialization facilitates the evaluation of the relevance of the performance-products-services before, during and after the execution of the dynamizing activities in the creation and development of the identified capacities.

3.7. Evaluation of the relevance of performance-products-services. It is fundamentally oriented to know the levels of satisfaction of the population, the effectiveness and efficiency in the performance based on the needs identified in the diagnosis; and in correspondence with the life cycle of the products and services studied, their position in the creation and development of capacities is weighted. Evaluation constitutes a transversal dimension in the CC process and is carried out before, during and after, defining the traceability-behavioral trajectory of the individual and collective actors involved.

3.8. Implementation of the quality management system (QMS). The processes and sub-processes under study, the procedures and instructions that guide how to do, performance and form part of the results to be achieved from the ACC are prepared. The ISO 9001:2015 standard is often used. The QMS guarantees the continuity of the CC process, its continuous improvement and contributes to the institutionalism of territorial-local development at a given instance or level. The House of Quality tool is frequently used to articulate the requirements of the population and the specifications of the products and services offered, as a result of the ACC carried out.

In the building and development of the capacity for innovation of local tourism products, the regularities expressed above are corroborated when studying a growing product -Parque Humedal Grande-, where the sequence in the CC starts with the study of opportunities and obstacles with emphasis on the market, environmental and economic contexts, pondering the projection of relationships with potential customers and defining their profile until concluding with the evaluation of the relevance with the analysis of the daily consumption budget.

When analyzing a product in maturity with a tendency to decline -Rancho Palma-, the starting point is then the evaluation of the relevance of the product with particular emphasis on customer satisfaction and a subsequent review of the profile of customers currently visiting, with the need to consider Russian and national customers, while in the ACC emphasis was placed on the costs of supply and promotion, competition in service and markets, with the emergence of new non-state business proposals.

Therefore, the definition of the components of the contents of the capacities contributes to the systematization of capacity building since it organizes all the components in an interrelated manner, establishing hierarchies and organizing the process with a system approach, which allows its application to be maintained over time and its adequacy to adjust to the demands of the environment.

As can be seen from the elements presented above, the proposal of the multilevel capacity building program for the strategic management of territorial development, based on the elements defined by Fao (2016) and UNDP (2022), provides a framework for defining the capacity building approach used in this study. It also defines the principles underlying the need to systematize the creation of innovation capacities for the performance of local actors, both individual and collective, in local development.

The proposed tool for the derivation and integration of contents for the definition of the components of the skills to be developed, which was corroborated by the criteria of specialists, constitutes a contribution to this growing area in the country.

On the other hand, the procedure for systematizing capacity building and development in a context of social innovation for local development demonstrates the urgent need to connect capacity building, knowledge and innovation.

The question then arises: How can local stakeholders develop the capacity to respond and adapt to these constant and competitive changes in the environment? The answer to this question is undoubtedly based on the understanding that not only a process of capacity building is required, but also the creation of innovation capacities that allow local actors, both individual and collective, to generate new ideas to offer new or improved products, processes and/or services, with a recognized impact on the quality of life of the population, which is a contribution to the creation of capacities for local development, based on social innovation.

Knowledge management plays a relevant role in this process, as stated by Núñez Jover et al. (2023), as a result of practical experiences in Cuba:

"The relevant knowledge for the DT will preferably be situated knowledge. All knowledge can be useful to promote local development, but it must be "grounded" to the reality of each territory, which as it has seen is not an inert space that is "filled" with external inputs, but a subject of development that has its own geographical, edaphological, cultural peculiarities, traditions, productive vocations, traditional knowledge, development strategies, etc.".

Consequently, creating innovation capacities requires: strengthened actors, interactions and appropriate institutional bases (Núñez Jover et al., 2023). Higher Education Institutions and the active role of the community play a fundamental role in this process in order to mobilize collective action for social change, with significance and impact on the quality of life of the population.



Altrichter, H., Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R., & Zuber Skerritt, O. (2002). The concept of action research. The Learning Organization, 9(3), 125-131.

Basto, V., Moncada Santos, M., Martínez Tena, A., Hernández Garrido, M. V., Expósito García, E., Villalón García, G., Santana Rodríguez, Y., & Castillo Salina, Y. (2019). Experiencia de capacitación a actores locales en Santiago de Cuba como práctica de innovación social. Interconectando Saberes, 4(Especial), 159-170.

Costamagna, P., & Larrea Aranguren, M. (2017). Actores facilitadores del desarrollo territorial: Una aproximación desde la construcción social. Orkestra-Instituto Vasco de Competitividad.

Fao. (2016). Creación de capacidad. Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura.

Fernández González, A., Guzón Camporredondo, A., & Núñez Jover, J. (2023). El desarrollo local en Cuba: Institucionalización y desafíos. RIGL: Revista Iberoamericana de Gobierno Local, (24).

Franch León, K. (2017). El conocimiento como catalizador de la innovación social: Una alternativa de desarrollo local en Cuba. COFIN Habana, 11(1).

González Crespo, A., Carballo Cruz, E., & Carballo Ramos, E. (2022). Procedimiento de innovación de productos turísticos para el proceso de coordinación de Bodas y Lunas de Miel. Cooperativismo y Desarrollo, 10(3), 536-561.

Hernández Ascanio, J. (2020). ¿La innovación social como método de investigación participativo y sociopráctico? Tendencias Sociales. Revista de Sociología, (6), 33-63.

Hernández Ascanio, J., Aja Valle, J., Medina Viruel, M. J., & Rueda López, R. (2023). Fundamentación teórica de la innovación social: El problema de la modelización en un campo de estudio sin consolidar. CIRIEC-España, revista de economía pública, social y cooperativa, (108), 131.

Martínez Martínez, J. (2019). La capacitación de actores locales: Una necesidad para promover el desarrollo local (Revisión). Redel. Revista Granmense de Desarrollo Local, 3(2), 48-59.

Moulaert, F., MacCallum, D., Mehmood, A., & Hamdouch, A. (Eds.). (2013). The International Handbook on Social Innovation: Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Nijnik, M., Secco, L., Miller, D., & Melnykovych, M. (2019). Can social innovation make a difference to forest-dependent communities? Forest Policy and Economics, 100, 207-213.

Núñez Jover, J., Fernández González, A., & Aguilera García, L. O. (2023). Creación de capacidades, conocimiento, innovación y desarrollo territorial. A propósito del municipio que queremos. En L. Pérez Hernández, El municipio que queremos: Fortalezas y desafíos (pp. 131-146). Editorial Caminos.

Ortega Hoyos, A. J., & Marín Verhelst, K. (2019). La innovación social como herramienta para la transformación social de comunidades rurales. Revista Virtual Universidad Católica del Norte, (57), 87-99.

Paz Enrique, L. E., & Núñez Jover, J. (2021). Agentes productores y socializadores del campo de los estudios sobre desarrollo comunitario en Latinoamérica. ACADEMO Revista de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, 8(1), 42-54.

Pérez González, M. del C., & Lutsak Yaroslava, N. V. (2017). La producción científica sobre la innovación social para el desarrollo local. Una revisión bibliométrica. Revista Prisma Social, (19), 146-182.

PNUD. (2013). Conocimiento, innovación y creación de capacidades. Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo. Dirección de Políticas de Desarrollo. Grupo de Conocimiento, Innovación y Creación de Capacidades.

PNUD. (2022). Informe Anual. Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo.

Pozo, J. I., & Monereo, C. (1999). El aprendizaje estratégico: Enseñar a aprender desde el currículo. Santillana.

Rubinstein, S. L. (1986). El problema de las capacidades y las cuestiones relativas a la teoría psicológica en Antología de la psicología pedagógica y de las edades. Pueblo y Educación.

Vygotski, L. S. (1995). Obras Completas. Pueblo y Educación.


Conflict of interest

Authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Authors' contribution

Adianez González Pardo: literature review, design, analysis and interpretation of the data, as well as writing and revising the manuscript.

Elme Carballo Ramos: design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, as well as writing and revising the manuscript.

Edianny Carballo Cruz: design of the procedure for systematization of capacities, as well as the final revision of the manuscript.

All the authors reviewed the writing of the manuscript and approve the version finally submitted.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License