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Holding of the First Workshop (8-9 October 2007, Bangkok)

The first workshop of the joint study was held in Bangkok from 8-9 October, 2007, with the participation of study members. The purpose of the workshop was (a) to discuss the overall framework and the design of the study, (b) to prepare for the implementation of country studies, and (c) to share experiences on CD and TC.

22 participants from partner countries and 26 participants from donor agencies gathered in Bangkok. The former included the representatives of the ministries who will play a leading role in the upcoming country studies. The latter included the representatives of the headquarters' departments who are in charge of the joint study, as well as representatives of the concerned regional and country offices.(Participant List PDF/21KB)

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Participants

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Plenary Meeting

The program of the intensive two-day meeting was as follows:

8 Oct. Introduction
Overall Framework of the Study (basic approach, outputs, timetable, management structure, study website and logo)
Preliminary Design Concept and Methodology (design philosophy, scope, key questions)
Country Presentation 1 (Cambodia, Ghana, Laos, Malawi, Zambia)
Regional Group Discussion (Asia/Africa)
9 Oct.
Country Presentation 2 (Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam)
Discussion and Conclusions (overall framework, design and methodology, next steps)
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Plenary Meeting

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Plenary Meeting

The key outcomes of the workshop can be summarized as follows:

  • Basic approach, outputs, and overall timetable for the study activities were approved
  • Management structure was established
  • Study website and logo were decided
  • Design philosophy, scope, and basic direction of methodology and analytical approach were endorsed
  • Greater selectivity and focus in key questions as well as further elaboration and expression of specific methodology were agreed upon in an inception report
  • Next steps (until mid-November) were determined
    (Preparation and finalization of an inception report, visits of international consultant team to study countries, selection of specific sectors/thematic areas for country study as well as preparation of implementation plan and structure in each country)
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Regional Group Discussion

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Regional Group Discussion

Regional Group Discussion

As for the management structure, the Steering Committee (SC) with the participation of all the members and responsible for the overall strategic guidance of the study, and the Management Group (MG) made up of a smaller number of members and tasked with day-to-day management of the study, were established. The members of the MG, elected by vote from amongst the study members, are:

Partner Countries
Cambodia, Ghana, Malawi, Vietnam
Donors
DFID, GTZ, JICA, World Bank

The Secretariat, which assists the SC and MG in carrying out their tasks, will be hosted and funded by JICA.

Plenary Meeting (Country Presentation)

Plenary Meeting

At the workshop, it was also agreed to establish a logo for the study, which was selected from amongst several proposals based upon participants' votes. The logo symbolizes a global network in which collaboration between partner countries and donors as well as amongst partner countries for CD will expand and be strengthened.

a study logo

[a study logo]

As intended, the Workshop focused on how to capture government (rather than donor or consultant) perspectives on the effectiveness of technical cooperation for capacity development.  Participants commented on the enormous amounts of TC which had been funded over the last two decades by donors without there being clear evidence that capacity had been sustainably developed, and there was agreement that the time was right to look at this and learn lessons.  Participants acknowledged that there had been a wealth of studies on TC for CD and that these needed to be built on, but this was now the time for a different approach.

One participant argued eloquently that the key questions were 'who needs TC?' and 'TC for what?'  The answers to these questions needed to be defined by governments, not by donors - in other words the need was to focus on demand rather than supply.  As the greatest need for government staff was to develop the confidence that they 'can do it', the greatest risk was that TC will take the responsibility away from government staff: that was a situation which must be avoided. 

Other participants addressed TC as an aspect of change management and questioned whether it was appropriately targeted.  One comment was that TC was too often targeted at top management when the real behaviour change needed to be in middle management. 

Another issue raised frequently by participants was the inability of governments to retain trained staff, who too frequently left for the private sector or other non-government employers, resulting in the need for an ever-repeating cycle of capacity development.  Consequently it is not possible to foresee a time when government capacity will have been fully developed.  Governments therefore needed to look not only at how TC is provided but also at the enabling and constraining factors within their own environments.

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