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2017 Commissioner’s Award
Doing Better With Less
Author: Gordon Evans
Publication Date: 2014
CIDA's Deployment for Democratic Development (DDD) program has supported democracy promotion since 2007 by funding multiple short-duration (18-24 month), low-budget (less than $250,000) projects. This article focuses on the advantages of this unique, responsive approach to foreign aid, arguing that the DDD model can in many circumstances deliver sustainable results at much lower cost than traditional project delivery models which rely on resident advisors, project teams and lengthy assignments. Moreover, DDD's unconventional preference for selecting current or former civil servants over development professionals has also proved beneficial.
Ten DDD case studies developed by IPAC elaborate this perspective. From civil service legislation in Mongolia to decentralization in Peru's regions to a code of ethics for Tanzania, DDD has demonstrated that placing the right Canadian expert with a motivated client can produce solid results notwithstanding limited time frames and budgets. Lessons learned from DDD describe how problems such as unrealistic client expectations, miscast policy problems, and unanticipated political interventions were effectively addressed on very short notice. Although there are many circumstances where the traditional project structure will prove more appropriate, this assessment suggests that this innovative model for delivering technical assistance should certainly be considered more widely.
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