In a message dated 6/25/2003, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

> Does anyone know if there are computer donation programmes that go
> beyond one-off donations? What if after a while people using donated
> computers need upgrading and/or replacement? Who takes responsibility
> for meeting with the created (long term) expectations of using
> computers?

I like your question.

One of the prevailing problems with development is that all the official
development assistance (ODA) community loves to announce that they have
started a program to address some currently popular problem, but they
rarely do enough of anything to make much of a success possible.

Development should be about replicating success and ensuring that the
scarce resources are used most wisely to achieve the greatest results.
But that rarely happens. There is little "knowledge" used in the
management of development and the allocation of scarce resources.
Instead scarce resources are squandered over and over again starting
things over instead of optimising what one might call a "continuum" of
development activities.

This is not a question of "capacity" in the SOUTH, or of "corruption" in
the SOUTH. This is a creation of the ODA community and the NORTH. It
optimises (maximises) the use of consultants from the NORTH while
reducing the resources available to the SOUTH.

But the SOUTH also has to figure out how to get what it needs without
being totally dependent on "gifts" from the NORTH. The SOUTH should be
able to make the case for getting help because it is doing great things
with the resource help, and is making measurable progress. With the
information easily available, it is not at all clear that "gifts" are
doing as much good as they could ....... and it should be clear .....
not necessarily before the "gifts" are given, but certainly afterwards.

In too many cases in my experience, computers were set up, computer
training took place, but the graduates of the computer training did not
have any jobs to go to. Yet the value of computers and trained computer
operators in the right business situation could be enormous ......
which brings me back to two recurring themes ...... the need for better
understanding of the development process and the need for jobs.


Peter Burgess
Peter Burgess
ATCnet in New York
Tel: 212 772 6918 Fax: 707 371 7805
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