Supporting technical cooperation reform for more effective support to capacity development on the road to Busan
Technical Cooperation (TC) has been the instrument of choice for donors trying to address CD. The OECD estimates that since 1960 some 400 billion USD may have been spent in technical assistance (TA), training, educational grants and other forms of TC. Given the large investment of funds, many studies and examinations have been conducted since late 1960s by donor agencies and other institutions to assess technical co-operation effectiveness. In general, the findings of these evaluations show that the results of much TC fall short of expectations. Today, there is recognition that TC is not a panacea for CD. TC, however good, might not be enough to address embedded constraints to CD. It is also acknowledged that key challenges to its effectiveness include its supply-driven nature and frequent failure to understand local context constraints. Finally, local expertise and South-South cooperation options often are not fully valued and may be viable alternatives.
Despite the recognition of shortcomings, progress in promoting reforms of traditional approaches to technical co-operation has been relatively slow. There are however some significant reform initiatives that are currently on-going, often in parallel -- for example, AusAID and European Commission efforts to reform TA, or the on-going international debate to reform aid-funded training.
The current aid effectiveness agenda on the road to Busan offers an exceptional opportunity to help build a South-North consensus on ways to successfully reform TC to make it more demand-driven rather than supply-led, flexible and adaptable to local contexts, constraints, and opportunities, and to make greater use of local and regional expertise and resources.
Find out more
- SUMMARY MESSAGES FOR BUSAN ON TECHNICAL CO-OPERATION - From Cairo Workshop Roundtable on Technical Cooperation (draft)
- Brussels workshop on Capacity Development. The workshop brought together some 70 participants from Europeaid, EU Delegations, EU Member States, Partner countries, OECD, Council of Europe and resource persons around the topic of Capacity Development. The workshop reaffirmed the strategic importance of Capacity Development and the need to give prominence to this topic in the planning and delivery of ODA, as CD represents a fundamental condition underlying sustainability, results and impact. Please click here to read the workshop messages. Power-point presentations of the CD workshop can be found on capacity4dev website.
- Bangkok workshop on Technical Cooperation (forthcoming)
- Please click here to find our other publications related to TC reform