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CAPACITY BUILDING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Russel C. Jones, Ph.D., P.E. President WFEO Committee on Capacity Building. Capacity Building for Economic Development. “Give a man a fish: you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish: you have fed him for a lifetime.”.
CAPACITY BUILDING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Russel C. Jones, Ph.D., P.E. President WFEO Committee on Capacity Building
Capacity Building for Economic Development “Give a man a fish: you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish: you have fed him for a lifetime.”
The need . . . • “Let me challenge all of you to help mobilize global science and technology to tackle the interlocking crises of hunger, disease, environmental degradation and conflict that are holding back the developing world.” • Kofi Annan, 2002
The need . . . “We need to encourage international commitments to promote the kind of engineering and technology that contributes to lasting development around the world.” • Koichiro Matsuura, 2000
Capacity Building Definition Capacity building is a dedication to the strengthening of economies, governments, institutions and individuals through education, training, mentoring, and the infusion of resources. Capacity building aims at developing secure, stable, and sustainable structures, systems and organizations, with a particular emphasis on using motivation and inspiration for people to improve their lives.
Results of Aid to Date • “The Elusive Quest for Growth”, by William Easterly (MIT Press, 2002): • Previous efforts have tried to use foreign aid, investment in machines, fostering education at the primary and secondary levels, controlling population growth, and giving loans and debt relief conditional on reforms to stimulate the economic growth that would allow these countries to move toward self sufficiency • all of these efforts over the past few decades have failed to lead to the desired economic growth • these massive and expensive efforts have failed because they did not hit the fundamental human behavioral chord that “people respond to incentives”
What Would Work? • Easterly argues that there are two areas that can likely lead to the desired economic growth in developing countries, that can lead them toward economic self sufficiency: • utilization of advanced technologies, and • education that leads to high skills in technological areas
What outcomes are desired? • A solid base of technologically prepared people in developing countries • to attract investments by multinational companies • to assist in making the most of foreign aid funds • to provide a basis for business development by local entrepreneurs
Two complementary approaches • UNESCO “Engineering for a Better World” proposal, to enhance engineering programs within that organization • WFEO Committee on Capacity Building, to provide an action oriented program for forward motion
UNESCO Plans for Capacity Building – 2003 • Stimulated by US rejoining of UNESCO after 18 year absence: “Engineering for a Better World” program proposed • Vision is to promote human and institutional capacity building in developing countries, for poverty reduction and sustainable economic and social development
Focus of “Engineering for a Better World” • Strengthen engineering education, training and continued professional development • Standards, quality assurance and accreditation • Development of curricula, learning and teaching materials and methods • Distance and interactive learning (including virtual universities and libraries) …more…
… more areas of focus • Development of engineering ethics and codes of practice • Promotion and public understanding of engineering and technology • Development of indicators, information and communication systems for engineering • Addressing gender issues in engineering and technology • Inter-university and institutional cooperation • Development of policy and planning to support the above
WFEO Standing Committee on Capacity Building • Established in October 2003 at the World Federation of Engineering Organizations’ General Assembly in Tunis, based on a proposal from the United States • Hosted by the American Association of Engineering Societies in Washington DC • Chaired by Russel C. Jones • To complement UNESCO “Engineering for a Better World” in-house effort
What is different about this project? • The CCB is run by engineers who understand engineering problems and solutions. • The CCB approach is interdisciplinary, understanding that complex problems require complex solutions. • The CCB supports the creation of a development continuum: what works in one emerging economy may well provide a model for another • The CCB encourages engineering projects that emphasize incentives for change in support of technical improvements and growth • The CCB emphasizes entrepreneurship that has a social dimension
Activities for WFEO Committee • Make expertise of professional and technical societies in developed world available to engineers in the developing world – publications, conferences, codes of practice, and ethics • Deliver needed information to engineers and engineering educators in developing countries via distance learning technologies • Strengthen engineering education in developing countries via sharing of best practices in curricular reform and in engineering practice …more…
… more WFEO activities • Provide an information resource for the engineering education needs of developing countries – teaching and learning materials, lab equipment, software, etc. • Address pipeline and diversity issues in providing the needed quality and quantity of engineers • Promote collaboration between institutions in developing and developed worlds • Promulgate quality assurance standards • Facilitate volunteer efforts by engineers
Next steps for WFEO Committee • Presidents of 80 WFEO member countries have been asked to nominate members of the Committee on Capacity Building (January 2004) • Startup planning conference planned to develop detailed agenda and plan for committee (June 2004 in Washington DC) • Seeking external funding • First regular committee meeting at WEC2004 in Shanghai in November 2004
EBW and WFEO CCB • “Engineering for a Better World” is a call to action from the United Nations. • The WFEO Committee on Capacity Building is the response of the engineering profession throughout the world in the form of a strategic action agenda.
Outcomes of an engineering approach • Technical capability is needed for developing countries to engage effectively in the global economy. A base of qualified engineers and technologists will facilitate the infusion of foreign capital through attraction of multinational companies to invest in the developing country
Outcomes of an engineering approach • Indigenous science and technology capacity is needed to insure that international aid funds are utilized effectively and efficiently – for initial project implementation, for long-term operation and maintenance, and for the development of capacity to do future projects. An engineering approach serves to reduce brain-drain, showing people that they can partner with donor nations in helping build their own homelands.
Outcomes of an engineering approach • In order to stimulate job formation, a technical workforce pool is needed, made up of people who are specifically educated and prepared to engage in entrepreneurial startup efforts that meet local needs An engineering approach, when coupled with entrepreneurship, results in societal as well as personal benefits.
An early example of capacity building: Engineer of the Americas Initiated in Brazil, 2003 • Concept: • Generate a technical work force that stimulates the regional economy and that of each country in the Hemisphere (attract multinational companies, use aid funds effectively, stimulate entrepreneurship) • Foster professional mobility of well qualified engineers within the Hemisphere
More on Engineer of the Americas • Next steps: • Present at UPADI 2004 in Mexico City in September • Highlight at ICEE 2004 in Florida in October • Continue grass roots effort (enhance engineering education, establish accreditation systems, …) • Pursue a top down approach similar to the “Bologna Declaration” approach taken in Europe (harmonization of higher education programs, quality assurance systems) • Provide input for a meeting at the ministerial level to pursue these concepts
Other close-in opportunities • Virtual exhibit (capture ASEE annual meeting exhibit) • Conference on teaching entrepreneurship to engineering students • Electronic conferences for professional development of faculty members who cannot get to meetings • … many more to result from this planning conference…
Contact information Russel C. Jones President, WFEO Standing Committee on Capacity Building RCJonesPE@aol.com