With a cobbler's workshop to success
Water cause of conflict and reason for cooperation
Capacity development capacities for sustainable development
[ Interview with Frannie Léautier ]
"A new relationship between donor and recipient"
[ Interview with Frannie Léautier ]
A new relationship between donor and recipient"
Questions to Frannie Léautier, Vice President of the World Bank Institute, the Bank's 'advanced training arm', on the new developmental approach 'Capacity Development'.
The new buzzphrase of development policy is 'capacity development'. You called this approach the "heart" of successful development. What are your principle objects and instruments?
Essentially, it is about the partner countries finding their own way to their development strategy and also being able to plan and implement it. For that they must have appropriate capacities. The instruments to build up such capacities range from the transfer of appropriate skills to training measures. It is a matter of cross-border dialogue to promote exchange of knowledge, best practices and the spreading of abilities.
What is the special role of the World Bank Institute in that? What do you expect from the cooperation with InWEnt?
The World Bank Institute focuses on strengthening individual capacities, especially by the transfer of skills. Moreover, the Institute creates space for dialogue and passes on examples of successful practice. So far as InWEnt is concerned, we were pleasantly surprised to find how many things we have in common in every respect, how many common visions. The cooperation offers great potential in many sectors.
What for you is the main difference between 'classic' development assistance and the new approach?
The difference is another relationship between donor and recipient. The new approach calls upon the developing country to take its own initiative, to take the 'drivers seat'. It is about the country itself determining the environment for successful development. In turn, the donors are called upon to keep an open mind on the question of which solutions are the right ones. They must think in terms of long timeframes and not expect immediate results.
Has development policy to date failed?
It has been successful in only a few cases, such as in China, which ensured that the support it received was also really fruitful. China knew what it wanted. The country understood that it had to combine its existing abilities with the concepts brought in from outside and ensure that they were implemented in a way which took account of its own peculiarities.
There will have to be Technical Cooperation in future as well, meaning project work. What importance do you give it within the framework of the new approach?
What is decisive is how the projects are tackled. To construct a water supply system according to the new approach, the first thing to do is to ask: Who wants it at all? What should the system look like? The local people must make the idea their own and also be interested in maintaining the system. To come along and say a water pump is the answer would be the wrong approach.
Only a few projects in the 'Capacity Development' sector have been evaluated so far. What must be done to make headway here?
There is methodological progress, but things remain difficult. The reason is that the strengthening of personnel and institutional capacities is very hard to measure. Also, it can take 10 to 20 years before results are visible. For example, it can perhaps take a long time before it is known whether learning offers have had the desired impact, when success sets in.
The Millennium Goals are ambitious. Are they at all achievable?
I think that for most countries the goals are achievable. And even if they should not be achieved, alone the endeavour of the developed and developing countries to attain them is valuable. It is better to get there a few years later than not at all. A lot depends on the big countries. If they make progress similar to that of China, then the goal values can be achieved globally. Otherwise, we make very intensive efforts towards regional solutions, especially in Africa. We have not yet really realised how great the loss of human capital is there due to HIV/AIDS, and what that means, for example, for the goal of enabling all children to attend school. Questions by Johannes Oetjens.