Monthly Archives: April 2008

Too much money is chasing too few really good development projects – Part 1: Funding periods and priorities

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 I can already hear the howls of frustration from committed development workers at this title. And in some way, you’re right: it is sometimes terribly difficult to obtain enough funds for some important development cooperation projects. And other ideas go unfinanced merely for lack of funds.

The many places a good development project idea can go astray – (1)

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Let me say from the start: this blog series is not meant to offer a complete list of the challenges to bringing a good project idea to fruition, as that would probably take an encyclopaedia and be rather boring to boot. It is intended to provoke some thought on how improvements could be made.

Centralisation and decentralisation – field office

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In the previous blog we looked at the role of headquarters.  Here the role of the field office is discussed, along with some of the pitfalls and how to solve them.

Centralisation and decentralisation in development cooperation – headquarters

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Having worked both in the field and at headquarters, I know the challenges and wishes of both. It is very difficult for international development organisations to find the right balance between sufficient headquarters control and a strong local presence in the beneficiary countries. Let’s look at the advantages and challenges on each side and analyse >>>

We need to measure the “Return on Investment” for Development Cooperation

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In every other business, an investment is expected to make economic sense.  According to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in 2006 some 104 billion US dollars were spent by the main donor countries on development cooperation. This is a massive investment, and any project or activity >>>

Development cooperation – the risk of marketplace distortion

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Why do many critics of development cooperation see marketplace distortion as one of the most critical issues? And what can be done about it?

The “Project Partner Dilemma”

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Why do so many development cooperation projects run after their partners? Most projects operate on the premise that there is a project partner (often one of the “beneficiaries”) on the recipient side, who is fully committed to the project. He shares a common understanding of the overriding and the specific project goals and will work together >>>