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Gates Open Research ; 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1835882


Technical assistance has been at the heart of development assistance provided to country governments by donor agencies over the past several decades. The current debates on reimagining technical assistance focus on the existing challenges of the different types of technical assistance and the (re)construction of an ideal model for delivering this type of support, with little discussion about the dilemmas involved in making day-to-day decisions and trade-offs in implementation. This article presents technical assistance as a policy option for governments and details the existing models of delivering technical assistance, their limitations, and the required enabling conditions. The models presented focus on the type of role for the technical advisers- as doers (performing government functions), partners (working with the government to perform a specific role) and facilitators (enabling and facilitating change programmes to address wicked problems). Finally, the paper provides a practical account of the implications of the programme design and suggests potential opportunities for change particularly in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. It complements an open letter on the practical account of the current challenges in the design and implementation of technical assistance programmes.