Real World Challenges
Edited by Tina Søreide and Aled Williams
Chapter 16: When per diems take over: training and travel as extra pay
Weak access to basic services and poor framework conditions for the private sector impede development. Low-quality service provision for example in health, education, utility supply, industry regulation or law enforcement can often be explained by inefficiencies in state administration. This is why many governments offer extensive training to build capacity or to introduce new approaches and strategies. Training programmes are often organized in collaboration with development partners and as complements to development interventions. As a result, a significant share of budgets is allocated to seminars and workshops. Higher competence among civil servants at all ranks is expected to strengthen bureaucratic efficiency and thus improve sector performance for better development. In the same vein, heightened awareness with regard to salient issues such as gender, transparency, HIV and AIDS, micro-finance, and so on, is also expected to improve performance.Whether the many training programmes, workshops and seminars actually enhance efficiency and performance depends on the manner in which they are organized and how receptive the participants are to learning. While it is often assumed that training programmes lead to better performance, research suggests that training programmes are often organized and attended for the mere purpose of obtaining extra pay rather than for their substance (see Cooksey, 2007, 2010; Jansen 2009a, b; Vian, 2009).
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