The Bergen Seminar on Development 1999 focused on aid-funded institutional partnerships and twinning, and the extent that these are effective mechanisms for promoting organisational change and institution building. Institutional cooperation, also called twinning, has been promoted as an alternative to conventional technical assistance, and implies that similar organisations and institutions in the South and North enter into a medium to long term collaborative arrangement. At this seminar some 50 participants, including aid officials, practitioners in public institutions and NGOs, researchers and resource persons from the South and the North, gathered to review experience from evaluations and case studies, and to make a set of recommendations for improved policies and practices. It was agreed that the success of institutional cooperation depends fundamentally on the capacity for equal participation and real ownership by both sides. Since twinning is a form of tied aid, alternative mechanisms including regional and global networking must always be considered. Organisational and broader institutional change also depends on an enabling political and legal environment, which may have to be created. This publication contains the full report from the Seminar. A separate off-print of the summary and conclusions is also available as a CMI Conference Report.
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