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CAT Guidelines


We provide tools, connections and the global voice to keep the Girl Guide and Girl Scout Movement united and thriving. This is the value that guided our work on the Capacity Building Framework. In 2014, at the 35th World Conference in Hong Kong, WAGGGS Member Organisations (MOs) committed themselves to the Global Membership Development Strategy in order to reach ambitious and sustainable growth targets for the Movement. In 2015-2016, WAGGGS conducted extensive consultations with MOs, Regional Committees, Working Groups and staff that resulted in major changes to organisational structure. WAGGGS reviewed the way we work with MOs, refined its Mission, Vision and Purpose through extensive research, and conducted a review of all documents, toolkits, processes and systems in use. This led to the development of a Capacity Building Framework, which includes a self- assessment tool (the Capacity Assessment Tool or CAT). In 2021, WAGGGS published Compass 2032, its new vision statement for the Girl Guide and Girl Scout Movement. In 2022, this, together with feedback received from Member Organisations led us to review and update the CAT to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of our Members. 

WAGGGS Capacity Assessment Tool (CAT) 

WAGGGS has designed a Capacity Building Assessment Tool to support Member Organisations to understand their own organisational capacity as measured against an organisational capacity model and defined minimum standards of membership. The tool also assists the WAGGGS Global Team to identify what type of support is required to most effectively develop and grow each organisation, and to support the development of new and improved tailored services and products. 


The CAT is organised into five themed sections, covering the following aspects of organisational activity:  

  1. Organisational Identity  

  1. Organisational Structure and Management 

  1. Young People in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting  

  1. Adults in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting 

  1. A Safe Space for All  

Each of these sections contains some ‘essential’ indicators and other indicators to help you ‘take it further’. In each case, the essential elements reflect the WAGGGS membership criteria. This is where you will probably want to focus if you are a relatively new organisation – or one which is looking to re-build following challenging times. If you are well-established and working from a strong base, you may want to spend more time looking at the elements which have been designed to help you ‘take it further.’  

Throughout the CAT, we have also used icons to highlight elements which reflect the key WAGGGS priorities, as articulated in Compass 2032. 

Step by Step Procedure 

The principles that should accompany the CAT completion, in order to make it an active and effective means of self-reflection are: honesty, transparency, and involvement of all members of National Board and key decision makers including staff members.  

Suggested steps;  

  1. Identify all the people that need to be involved. It is recommended to assign a team for each different area of the assessment. When possible, each team should be led by the member of the National Board who is responsible for the area of work. The CAT is a participatory process, which requires real teamwork. For best results, it suggested to include everyone involved in key leadership roles.  

  1. Decide how you want to use the CAT. The tool has been designed to be as flexible as possible. You can choose how you use it. You may want to work through every element in every section, to identify your strengths and weaknesses and to decide on your priorities for improvement. Alternatively, you may prefer to begin by focussing only on the ‘essential’ indicators. Or, if you already have some idea of your development priorities, you might choose to focus on one or two sections (for example, you could decide to use the CAT to help you evaluate your current provision for young people in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting) 

  1. Allocate a period of time to conduct the exercise (depending on organisation’s structure). 

  1. Nominate a trained facilitator to maximise process management and learning  

  1. On the day, introduce the tool and process to all involved in the assessment.  

  1. Organise parallel meetings of all directly involved in the different areas of the assessment which you have decided to tackle. The aim is to discuss the standards related to their area of work and assess where the organisation currently stands. 

  1. If you want, you can provide evidence for each choice to reinforce your choices during the CAT completion.   

  1. Have the group feedback on the results and debrief.  

  1. Evaluate and share feedback to WAGGGS on the tool and process via a short online survey. Survey is available in Campfire.   

If you are completing the online form, your results will be automatically shared with WAGGGS and will inform future services and offer. If when completing the form, you request support from the Capacity Building team, a member of the team will contact you to discuss how to best assist you.  If you are completing the PDF version of the form, we encourage you to share your results with your Regional Manager via email.  


We hope that you will find it helpful in many ways. Please remember that this is not a test, but a tool that provides a way to review, consolidate and measure progress. It helps define areas for improvement and opens up discussion on strategy. It is designed to be an empowering support for self-reflection, allowing for team-building and a holistic view of the organisation. The healthy, structured discussion it aims to generate is in itself a learning process that will help drive a focused and powerful action plan for future progress. The benefits of the CAT are practical as well. It is very helpful when your organisation wants to approach fundraising partners, for example, because it shows a thorough grasp and understanding of the most important elements of how the organisation functions at all levels. It shows transparency and a willingness to share information and strive for constant, measurable improvement. CAT is aligned with Compass 2032 and contributes with Member Organisations in achieving WAGGGS’ vision of equal world where all girls can thrive and a girl-led Movement.  

Support available 

WAGGGS has put in place a team to support you through this process. Your first point of contact is your Regional Team (Regional Capacity Building contact or Regional Manager), so feel free to ask them for support with completing the CAT. It is also important to consider the support and advice that other networks may provide. Laws and regulations vary from country to country, of course, but you can often reach out for answers and insight from your local community. Please do refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and Glossary before you go through the tool, and allow yourself enough time for it. 

Suggestions from MOs who have completed the CAT previously 

  • Many organisations found that filling the CAT out in a group is best.  

  • Make sure you allow enough time for discussion.  

  • Involve Regional Commissioners. 

  • Staff and volunteers should work closely to complete the CAT. 

  • They suggested to use the tool for WAGGGS only every 3 years and to have the freedom for the organisation to use it as often as they like, including at the regional or district level 

  • To choose someone with experience to act as a facilitator for the group discussions and debriefing.  


Thank you for taking the time to complete the Capacity Assessment Tool. We appreciate the effort and energy each association puts into it. The results will enable you, and us, to identify the kind of tailored support that will most benefit your organisation. Best of luck and we hope you enjoy the process. We are here to support at any step, so please feel free to get in touch. 


If you have any questions, you can always contact us at