An organization that provides foreign technical assistance and may employ aid consultants.

Common pitfalls:

  • most aid is available early on, when crisis or postconflict governments’ absorptive capacity is weakest;
  • try for quick fixes by bringing in international experts, build islands of excellence within public administration but with no sustainable capacity to operate over the long term;
  • rely on standard intervention templates and generic recipes;
  • overemphasis on building technical skills to produce quick wins in terms of service delivery while missing to transform mindsets (gvernance as zero-sum game vs. act of collaborative problemsolving, rebuilding trust)
  • rebuild capacities at the national level while neglecting the local levels.

Recommended attitude:

  • obtain a good understanding of the local context (use of analysis or reconnaissance tools, make good use of individuals with country-specific knowledge)
  • increase the participation of local actors earlier in planning and implementation processes
  • create appropriate mechanisms for informal and local leaders to contribute to the process of peace, reconstruction and capacity development
  • coordinate with the other partners

Section II.4 of Reconstructing Public Administration after Conflict: Challenges, Practices and Lessons Learned, World Public Sector Report 2010 (United Nations Public Administration Network, UNPAN).


ISIC Section M - Professional, scientific and technical activities
ISIC Class 9900 - Activities of extraterritorial organizations and bodies

The Fringes

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