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Reforming Technical Cooperation. __________________ The Backbone Strategy on TC & its core elements __________________. EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Main challenges __________. Mixed standard of experts quality. Parallel PIUs - outside country structures – absorb resources and

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reforming technical cooperation

Reforming Technical Cooperation


The Backbone Strategy

on TC & its core elements




main challenges
Main challenges __________

Mixed standard

of experts quality

Parallel PIUs

- outside country structures –

absorb resources and

do not develop


… and little evidence

of change

Overreliance on

northern commercial


Unsatisfactory tracking

of TA performance …

Not enough focus

on results



Drivers of change __________

  • International Aid Effectiveness commitments – Paris indicators:
    • Indicator 4: 50% of TC implemented via coordinated programmes
    • Indicator 6: reduce by 2/3 the stock of parallell PIUs
  • EU targets:
    • Provide all capacity building assistance via coordinated programmes and increasing use of multi donors arrangements
    • Avoid the establishment of (parallel) PIU


european court of auditors on ta 2006
European Court of Auditors on TA (2006) __________

Recommended areas of work:

  • improve design + result orientation
  • promote new sources/types of providers
  • better selection of expertise/revision of evaluation criteria
  • enhance coordination among donors
  • performance tracking/database
  • more ownership



Vision __________

Improved effectiveness and sustainability of EC development assistance, based on:

Provision of support through partner-owned project implementation arrangements, with a substantial reduction of Parallel PIUs

Provision of “quality TC” that supports country-led programmes, based on partner demand and focused on sustainable results


Eight guiding principles __________

1. Primary aim is Capacity Development

8. Consider innovative options for TC provision

2.Demand led approach where TC is not provided by default




7. Avoid use of Parallel PIU & promote effective Project Implementation


3.Strong result orientation

4.Country owned & managed TC processes

6. Work through harmonized and aligned actions

5. Take account of country/sector requirements

in line with the accra agenda for action aaa
In line with the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) __________

Donors’ support for capacity development will be demand-driven and designed to support country ownership

Developing Countries and Donors will :

i) jointly select and manage technical cooperation

ii) promote the provision of technical cooperation by local and regional resources, including through South-South Cooperation

Donors will strengthen their own capacity and skills to be more responsive to developing countries’ needs



4. Communication, knowledge management, training

5. Implementation and monitoring of the Strategy

The five working axis __________

1. Strategic dialogue

2. Improve design management & accountability

3.Improve tendering, contracting & other procedures

At country level – menu of interventions:

Support sector/national policies on TC and PIU

Support plans for capacity development at sector level

Address public sector reforms

Promote dialogue on "top up“

Inform other donors on TC operations in the pipeline

engage in joint/co-financing

HQ level:

participation in ongoing dialogue at international level

promote joint guidance

organize joint training/sector seminars

Axis 1: Strategic dialogue on TC and PIUs __________

axis 2 tc design management and accountability
Axis 2: TC design, management and accountability __________

Better design - Guidelines on TC:

Assess demand for TC

Consider/adapt to context

Assess existing capacity

Optimize harmonization

Result oriented design

Get the right inputs – Dos and Don’ts in ToR

Monitor/evaluate results

… beyond PIU towards implementation arrangements

Process wise:

Partner countries involvement in project design and management

accountability of TC providers to partner countries

Better monitoring and performance assessment systems

a summary of the guidelines in 6 lines
A summary of the Guidelines in 6 lines __________
  • Convert ownership into practice : results, roles, inputs to be defined both for partners and donors
  • Assess/adapt to demand, to context and to existing capacity – and harmonize
  • Let results be the driver
  • Analyse options, look for the right type of provider
  • Track / monitor results, ensure domestic accountability
  • …… think in terms of project implementation arrangements


focusing on the partner s programme
Focusing on the partner’s programme __________

Partner-owned TC support


capacity and



TC inputs &



TC inputs



is wrongly assumed

leading to


capacity and


Activities by partner and by donor TC inputs, under partner leadership

“may” lead to


look for results beyond tc deliverable
Look for results beyond TC deliverable __________

Result-oriented TC support

Start from feasible impact, work backwards to determine if and how TC support may be and feasible relevant


Recurrent inputs




Internal resources

CD processes

TC support


programme implementation arrangement
…Programme implementation arrangement… __________

Five key parameters:

Governance and accountability

Management set-up

Logistical autonomy

Relations between TC experts, partners and the EC

EC’s and other donors’ roles

More autonomous or more integrated depending on purpose / nature of the programme and changing over time

Programme implementation arrangements

!! No blueprint solutions – help partners to get it right and flexible



Quality Grid: self assessment at country level __________

To be attached to the Action Fiche for “significant” TC operations and all TC focused programmes



More ownership of Partner Governments

Facilitate co-financing and delegated cooperation

Mobilize public sector expertise, including of MS

Improved quality of experts

… These objectives are possible with the existing rules and procedures!

Axis 3: TC procurement, contracting and other procedures __________


who will be managing the action
Who will be managing the action? __________

!! Don’t forget national leadership


when justified
Direct award of a grant:

« Actions with specific caracteristics which require a particular type of body on account of its technical competence, its high degree of specialization or its administrative power » (PRAG)

Well proven competence in the AAP/financing decision

Informal call of interest to MS

Negotiated procedure:

« Where services are entrusted to public sector bodies or to non profit institutions /associations and relate to activities of an institutional nature or designed to provide assistance in the social field » (PRAG)

Informal call of interest to MS

When justified…. __________


revision of prag finalised end of 2008
Recruitment of individual consultants

Interviews and references of experts

Mobilisation of public expertise

Partner Government ownership (design, evaluation, reporting..)

Suspensive clause for EDF

Mid-term actions:

Database on quality experts

Further develop twinning

Revision of PRAG (finalised end of 2008) __________


Ongoing broad in-house campaign

Address broader audience at country level

Mobilize and equip internal "strategy communicators/focal points“

Map knowledge centers

Axis 4: Communication, knowledge management and training __________


www capacity4dev eu facilitating exchanges collaboration and learning Facilitating exchanges, collaboration and learning __________


EC family

the rest of the world, including partner countries, Member States, other donors, academia and civil society


Advanced knowledge management and search capability

User empowered (share knowledge, peer support, upload material comment, rate, tag etc)

Online work groups, collaboration spaces and tools: both Internal (EC Only) and Public Spaces

Dedicated editorial team for high value contents : news, interviews, hands on practical info, cases studies

Launch: April 09


www capacity4dev eu structure Structure__________

Contribute to capacity !

Upload contents at

or send us ideas:


and training open to other donors and partners
… and training open to other donors and partners __________

Basic training on TC:

Hands-on training kit

HQ - Syslog - 1,5 day (+ 0.5 days coaching)

(FR) 13-14/05/09

(EN) 22-23/06/09

Country level – for pilot programmes

E-learning – in progress

Promote use of internal trainers

…..and more:

New course on Capacity Development within SWAP at country /sector level

More training on Public Sector Reforms and on PFM reforms

Check on Syslog for upcoming trainings!

Implementation Framework set up with identified responsibilities at HQ and in Delegations

External evaluation of TA launched by the end of 2009

The Panel - Reach out to external partners to dialogue on TC, including partner countries

European Court of Auditors announced follow up

Axis 5: Implementation / monitoring of the strategy __________


Implementation at country level __________

January 2009

  • Mapping of “significant” TC and parallel PIUs
  • Concise Country Action Plans
    • Redress “policy gaps” in significant TC operations
    • Phase out parallel PIUs existing by 2010
    • Improve project implementation arrangements
    • Frame the preparation of TC operations and PIUs
    • Grasp opportunities for enhanced coordination

Modulate / specify the strategy at country level


delegations tasks
Delegations tasks __________
  • Dialogue and communication
  • Focus on design and management of programmes – Apply the Guidelines and their quality criteria
  • Look carefully at the annex on procedures – Plenty of new options !
  • Follow up on the mapping of TC and your action plan
  • Contribute/use the platform « »
  • Organize training (hands on kit)
  • Call for Directorate E / HQ support
  • Identify innovative programmes and communicate around them to Headquarters


how can headquarters support you
How can headquarters support you __________

A menu of possible activities :

  • Tailored training and learning/coachingevents
  • Presentations and working sessions with country stakeholders
  • Identification/support to innovations - ad hoc assistance and coaching
  • Promotion of the web platform www.capacity4dev.euincluding collecting your views on the platform, etc...
  • Peer support among delegations at regional / sector level and/or partner countries, including reviews of mapping and action plans.
thank you for your attention
Thank you for your attention! __________

For further information:



Functional mail box:


glossary annexes
Glossary / Annexes __________

DAC definition: Technical Cooperation

DAC definition: Coordinated TC

DAC definition: Parallel PIU’s

Project implementation arrangement

ECA recommendations on TA

dac definition of technical cooperation
DAC definition of “Technical cooperation _______

Technical cooperation (also referred to as technical assistance) is the provision of know-how in the form of personnel, training, and research, and associate costs.

It comprises:

donor-financed activities that augment the level of knowledge


technical know-how or productive aptitudes of people in developing countries

and Services such as consultancy, technical support or the provision of know-how that contribute to the execution of a capital project.

The DAC survey of the Paris Declaration uses this definition and adds that “TC should include both free-standing TC and TC that is embedded in investment programmes or is included in programme based approaches”.

Coordinated TC meets both criteria below:

Have relevant country authorities (government or non-government) communicated clear capacity development objectives as part of broader national or sector strategies? (Y/N)

Is the technical cooperation aligned with the countries’ capacity development objectives? (Y/N)

… and at least oneof the criteriabelow:

Do relevant country authorities have control over the technical cooperation? (Y/N)

If more than one donor is involved in supporting country programmes, are there arrangements involvingthe country authorities in place for coordinating the technical cooperation provided by different donors? (Y/N)

DAC definition of “Coordinated TC” __________

dac definition of parallel piu
DAC definition of Parallel PIU __________

A PIU is parallel when it is created and operates outside existing country institutional and administrative structures at the behest of a donor. PIUs are said to be parallel when there are three or more “Yes” to the four questions below (anything less counts as integrated):

Are the PIUs accountable to the external funding agencies/donors rather than to the country implementing agencies (ministries, departments, agencies etc)? (Y/N)

Are the terms of reference for externally appointed staff determined by the donor (rather than by the country implementing agencies)? (Y/N)

Is most of the professional staff appointed by the donor (rather than the country implementing agencies)? (Y/N)

4.Is the salary structure of national staff (including benefits) higher than those of civil service personnel? (Y/N)

programme implementation arrangement1
Programme implementation arrangement __________

Generic term adopted by the EC for the organizational set-up that any project needs for implementation, whether supported by donors or not. A PIA may focuses on how both donor and country partner inputs will be organized and managed

Five parameters to consider when defining the PIA:

1.Governance and accountability

2. Management set-up

3. Logistical autonomy of the PIA

4. Relations between TC experts, partners and the EC

5. EC’s and other donors’ roles in the PIA

Country Strategy Papers to include analysis of institutional weaknesses & capacity needs.

Develop TA guidelines.

Improve design of capacity development projects.

Review TA procedures for preparation/start-up to allow more time for implementation and more flexibility.

European Court of Auditors' Report: 8 recommendations on TA__________

european court of auditors report 8 recommendations on ta
European Court of Auditors' Report: 8 recommendations on TA__________

5. Review evaluation criteria in TA tenders to reflect quality and previous experience.

6. Consider more options/choices in procuring technical expertise, e.g. public institutions and beneficiary country/region.

7. Increase use of TA through coordinated programmes and apply implementation arrangement that encourage local ownership.

8. Assess systematically TA performance (management information system).