A Country-led Approach towards Reform of Technical Cooperation

Technical Cooperation (technical assistance, training, educational grants) is arguably the most visible (perhaps as much as one quarter of all ODA) and traditional form of international support for development cooperation. Over the last few decades, reviews and evaluations of TC have emphasized the strategic importance of TC and recognized that, in many cases, TC contributes significantly to development results. However the reviews also acknowledge that TC is not realizing its full potential as a lever for development, and concerns have been expressed in many quarters over the approach to TC and its effectiveness. The shortcomings of current approaches to technical cooperation, especially when viewed through the lens of capacity development, have been known for many years and are widely admitted.  As a step forward toward the Busan HLF 4, a workshop was held in Bangkok on 15 September 2011 in an effort to move from calls for further reform of TC to an action agenda for TC reform, and to explore the concrete ways in which TC reform can be pushed further. 

The Bangkok conference reconfirmed that Technical Cooperation continues to be widely used, accounting for perhaps 20-25% of all Official Development Assistance. It reinforced the need to learn lessons from both the successes and failures of the past, and it recalled the many well-known pitfalls to be avoided.

The discussions in Bangkok also revealed that there is a new paradigm of Technical Cooperation that is emerging. The free flow of information and the emergence of new actors on the global stage are important elements of this new paradigm. New technologies are facilitating innovative ways and means of knowledge transfer. South-South cooperation and twinning arrangements increasingly stand out as modalities of choice, offering opportunities and increased prospects for horizontal learning and shared solutions to development challenges.

Please see below for the call to action agreed upon by the workshop participants.

Event details
Thursday, 15 September, 2011
Event type: 
LenCD network event