The weakest link
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CTA. 2003. The weakest link. Spore 104. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47926
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore104.pdf
The real strength of this book, pithy enough for a UN author, lies in its recognition of the link between technical cooperation (TC) and national capacity building.
The real strength of this book, pithy enough for a UN author, lies in its recognition of the link between technical cooperation (TC) and national capacity building. This link is missing in many TC programmes, too often shaped by donors and non-empathetic foreign experts, and too little by national priorities. The result? Little more than a counter-productive compensation of 'lacking skills', where little sticks and little stays. And all this when TC is often lauded as the most effective form of development assistance, as it used to be called. Already well known for moving Beyond Aid: From Platitude to Partnership (an earlier book of his), Stephen Browne insists that TC must be applied only to develop national capacities and run by countries themselves. South-South skill swaps have their place, but are secondary to scholarships and national training. It's all done in the assertively honest style that reflects recent rethinks by the UN Development Programme (see Spore 103) whose poverty reduction programme Browne leads. His arguments are not always new, but his overall framework serves to re-evaluate some old donor dogmas. In all, he breathes new life into the now weary mantra of 'capacity development'. The added value of the book are six country case studies: the Ugandan, Bolivian and Philippino ones are the most pertinent to most ACP states. In any case, this is a must for ACP planners and policy-makers striving to build up their home-grown national capacity. Developing Capacity Through Technical Cooperation. Country Experiences By S Browne, Earthscan - UNDP, 2002. 224 pp. ISBN 1853839698 GBP 17.95 / 26.50 Earthscan Publications Ltd 120 Pentonville Road London N1 9JN UK Fax: +44 207 278 1142 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org