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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Experts, donors, ruling elites and the African poor: expert planning, policy formulation and implementation - a critique
Author:Nindi, B.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Research and Development
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Africa
Subjects:economic dependence
economic policy
technical cooperation
Management, Public Administration
Economic and social development
Research policy
Foreign aid
Abstract:A combination of expanding aid flow in the 1970s and manpower shortages has enabled foreign planning experts to exert growing influence on the design of regional/urban/rural development plans in a number of poor countries in Africa. This paper discusses the negative outcome of continuing dependence on foreign expertise and casts doubt on the transferability of planning experts from the rich to the poor African countries. Self-interests of the ruling elites and some of those involved in the aid business, and the remoteness of top decisionmakers from the problems of the rural and urban poor, are among the issues examined. The government's efforts to implement the large number of donor financed projects, each with its specific objectives and reporting requirements, use up far more time and effort than is appropriate. Burdens imposed on poor countries by the expansion of project lending and the proliferation of donors and the case against foreign expertise are discussed, using the case of Tanzania as an illustration. In this respect, attention is paid to Tanzania's Regional Integrated Development Plans (Rideps) and the stand of the IMF and World Bank, which tend to assign the major blame for the economic crisis on Tanzanian government policies. The tendency of foreign experts to displace rather than supplement local capacity and the perpetuation of a dependence mentality lead to fundamental distortions in African development planning. More attention should be given to building indigenous African research capacity. Bibliogr., sum.