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The Pooling of Technical Assistance: An Overview based on Field Experience in six African Countries

Synthesis paper

November 2001

Baser, H., and Morgan, P. 2001. ECDPM Synthesis Paper. November 2001. Maastricht: ECDPM.

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This study looks into the pooling of funds to finance technical assistance in the context of sector-wide approaches. A number of key questions are addressed, such as:

  • To what extent is pooling a useful tool for harmonising donor procedures? When and where is it most effective?
  • Does technical assistance (TA) pooling provide a mechanism to enhance national ownership?
  • What are the capacity and procedural constraints faced by both developing countries and IDAs in using pooling more extensively?
  • To what extent is TA pooling contributing to changes in aid management practices, in particular the relationship between governments and the international development community and the practices of that community?

In answering these questions, the study has reviewed the broader and changing context of international development policy and activities. The result is a somewhat provocative look at issues related to the pooling of TA, particularly the role of national ownership, the capacity of both developing countries and IDAs to manage pools, and the procedural constraints to doing so. The conclusions call into question some conventional wisdom.

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European external affairsReportsSummary reportsCapacity developmentTechnical assistance (TA)EthiopiaMaliMozambiqueUganda



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External authors

Heather Baser

Peter Morgan