How foreign aid works

Material Information

How foreign aid works
Butterfield, Samuel H
University of Florida -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Place of Publication:
Gainesville Fla
Center for Tropical Agriculture, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
22 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Agriculture -- Research -- International cooperation ( lcsh )
Economic development projects ( lcsh )
Economic assistance -- International cooperation ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
This paper was originally prepared and presented in 1982, and has been adapted with permission for use at the University of Florida.
Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
Statement of Responsibility:
Samuel H. Butterfield.

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University of Florida
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Resource Identifier:
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37188093 ( OCLC )
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Full Text
0/1 20

Samuel H. Butterfield


How Foreign Aid Works



Samuel H. Butterfield2

This paper was originally prepared by Samuel H. Butterfield and
presented at a Title XII Strengthening Grant Program Seminar at the
University of Idaho in January 1982. It has been adapted with
permission from Mr. Butterfield and George H. Belt, Associate Dean for
Research, and Director of International Programs, College of Forestry,
Wildlife and Range Sciences at the University of Idaho.

Modifications have altered the text to illustrate University of
Florida involvement in USAID projects through its International
Programs in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Mr.
Butterfield's original example of a hypothetical project managed by
the University of Idaho and Washington State University has been
substituted with a hypothetical project managed by the University of
Florida. These minor changes are intended to tailor Mr. Butterfield's
paper for use in orientation for faculty and staff involved in
International Programs at the University of Florida.

Full credit for authorship and sincere appreciation go to Mr.
Butterfield both for his insightful presentation of How Foreign Aid
Works and for his willingness to have his paper altered in the above
ways. Similarly full credit and appreciation are extended to the
University of Idaho and its College of Forestry, Wildlife and Range
Sciences as well as to the AID Strenghtening Grant that financed the
time to write it. Thank you for an informative and useful piece of

2Mr. Butterfield was with the U.S. Agency for international
Development for 22 years. He was Director of the Office of East and
South Africa, Deputy Director of the U.S. mission to the Sudan,
Director of the USAID mission to Tanzania, Operations Chief of the
Technical Assistance Bureau in Washington, D.C., and Director of USAID
in Nepal. When he retired from USAID's he received the agency's
Outstanding Career Achievement Award. Mr. Butterfield is now
Affiliate Professor in the University of Idaho's College of Forestry,
Wildlife and Range Sciences. At the present time Mr. Butterfield is
serving as Senior Advisor, National Conservation Strategy, Ministry of
Local Government and Lands, Gaborone, Botswana. His work there is
part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and
National Resources, affiliated with the United Nations Development

There are four parts to this presentation about the nuts and bolts
of foreign aid. First, there is a historical prologue on the foreign
aid program. Second, is a description of the main elements of foreign
aid today as practiced by almost all donors--World Bank, USAID,
Interamerican Development Bank, The British, etc. These elements
include four items: 1) what donor funds are used for; 2) the basic
role of foreign aid in development projects; 3) briefly the role of
research, and; 4) the question of professionals and peasants in
development. Third, I'm going to talk about the role of universities
in USAID-funded projects. (That's the main body of information in
this presentation). Fourth, I'll wind up with a discussion of four
common problems that campuses face in dealing with foreign aid
projects in developing countries.

I. Historical Prologue

Nearly 40 years ago, in January 1949, President Harry Truman
announced that the U.S. was starting a worldwide program to fight
mankind's age-old enemies--hunger, ignorance, and disease. Some of
you may recall that he also said that "this is the only war we seek."
These remarks were the fourth point in a series of points on U.S.
foreign policy and for many years the program he started was known
simply as the Point Four Program. In fact, in parts of the world, our
foreign aid program is still spoken of as the "Point Four Program".
His speech was the beginning of today's vast, cooperative process
aimed at development of the poor countries of the world.

In 1949, the U.S. invented the idea of bilateral cooperation for
development and not for profit. It caught on. The United Nations
took it up, the Organization of American States took it up, and we now
have the UN Development Program, World Bank, Interamerican Development
Bank, and Asia Development Bank--all spinoffs from this idea. Europe
and Japan took it up after the Marshall Plan had fueled their recovery
from World War II. In fact, it seemed to be so important that the
Russians took it up and the Chinese took it up. Since then, Russia
has dropped out. Apparently it did not serve their interests.

The program evolved. Let me give you very quickly the principal
characteristics of each decade.

During the first decade, the 1950s, concentration was on transfer
of technology--ideas, tools, and techniques. Most of this work was
done in agriculture, health, and education. Those were the big
thrusts and they still are. Also, village development was involved,
industrialization to some extent, and public administration. That
first decade was marked by great enthusiasm, sort of like the first
decade of the Peace Corps. It was also marked by some of the same
naive optimism, particularly about the relevance of Western technology
and about the readiness of the Third World to make quick changes.

In the second decade, the 1960s, the economists moved in. They
were flushed with success from the Marshall Plan which had indeed been

a howling success. So, the thinking in the development field moved
from concentration on people and technology to concentration on
capital assistance, especially for infrastructure such as roads, dams,
buildings, and rural electrification. In the discussions,
macro-economic theories dominated, particularly at the development
conferences. That was the name of the game. If you weren't into that
you might as well stay home.

When the third decade started, the 1970s, people concluded that
although there were a lot of successes there was still a lot of
poverty and the economists didn't seem to have answers for what were
beginning to be seen as the key problems of poverty. Capital seemed
to be important but there needed to be changes in the way people did
things. In other words, we went back to the ideas of the 1950s. So,
in the 1970s, you found a renewed attention to technical cooperation--
rather than the transfer of technology--accompanied by capital
assistance--a blending of the themes of the 50s and 60s. In addition,
there were some special new efforts being started. Special attention
was given to curbing population growth, to who benefits from
development, and to bringing the poor majority, particularly the small
farmers, into the development process through food production projects
and through broad rural development programs.

The fourth decade is the one in which we are now. The 1980s sees
a continuation, as near as I can tell, of the emphases of the third
decade, that is, the blending of technical and capital assistance, but
also an emphasis on population, on who's benefiting, though perhaps
less so. There is also rapidly rising attention to natural resource
management and, from the U.S., a renewed attention to the private
sector investment. This means, I'm afraid, primarily large investors.

There are two other points about these 38 years that have passed
since Harry Truman's inauguration of this program. One, the Third
World emerged, and then it split into the Third (less developed) and
Fourth (least developed) Worlds. By 1980, donor attention had become
focused increasingly on the Fourth World, in which there are some 26
countries. By this time, much of the Third World, such as Turkey,
Korea, and Taiwan, had graduated from development assistance.

Second, the U.S. effort in development assistance as a proportion
of national income dropped from the highest to one of the lowest among
the noncommunist, industrial countries. Sweden, Holland,.and Belgium,
for example, are far ahead of us in the proportionate level of
national development effort. However, the U.S. is still the biggest
in absolute terms.

What are the dimensions of this game? Development assistance
funds available for 1980 were as follows: The biggest by far was the
World Bank (International Bank of Reconstruction and Development and
the International Development Association. The combination of these
two institutions made available $10 billion for development to both
the Third and the Fourth Worlds. The Interamerican Development Bank
made available $2 billion. U.S. bilateral programs made available $2
billion for development assistance and about $1 billion for the

development part of what is called Security Supporting Assistance.
These latter are funds primarily for Egypt, but also for two or three
other countries in the Middle East. The Asia Development Bank
contributed $1.5 billion; United Nations programs, primarily United
Nations development programs, $.5 billion, then a very large
total--$8-10 billion--from other bilateral donors such as Japan,
England, Germany, Scandinavian countries, Italy, Australia, and China.
No longer Russia.

II. How Foreign Aid Works Today

Let me turn to the question of how foreign aid works today. First
of all, what are donor funds used for? Most donor funds go for joint
projects with LDCs (less developed countries). There is also RLDC
which stands for, depending on your frame of mind, really less
developed country or relatively less developed country, and that is
the name for what is euphemistically called the Fourth World. That is
the poorest of the poor, the 26 poorest countries in which are
included most African countries, several countries in Asia (Nepal,
Burma, Laos, and Bangladesh) and several countries in Latin America,
(Bolivia, Haiti, and possibly Honduras). In any even, most donor
funds go for joint projects with the least developed countries (LDCs).
However, some funds also go for studies and for research either in the
developed countries or in the developing countries. And further funds
of course, go for agency administrative costs, including the Program
Strenghtening Grants (PSG) at a number of U.S. universities with
international programs, including the University of Florida. So it's
not to be sneered at.

There are several types of joint projects. One supports
infrastructure. These are the big dams, highway projects, and
harbors. The big players in that are the IFI's (International
Financial Institutions--the multilateral groups), World Bank, IDA,
Asia Development Bank, Interamerican Development Bank, and the United
Nations. The Japanese do some, the new OPEC fund does some, but
primarily infrastructure is something that bilateral donors like the
U.S. are no longer involved in. It's simply too expensive. USAID
does do a few small things of this type in conjunction with its
technical assistance programs like farm-to-market roads, rural
irrigation, and rural electrification.
The second type of project is a production project and that's one
that all donors are involved in. This is the one that gets most of
the attention and indeed is probably the most significant group of
projects being undertaken by the developing countries with foreign aid
assistance. Major attention is given to increasing agricultural
output, especially food, but conserving soil, rangeland management,
and forest management are increasingly included as sub-goals by most
donors. Integrated rural area development has reemerged in the 1970s
as a major area of emphasis. This covers on-farm and off-farm
production, small infrastructure, and education, and health in a
geographic subunit of a particular country. This is called rural area
development. The University of Florida's Rural Technology Transfer

System (RTTS) project funded by USAID is an example of this type of
project. Working through the Ministry of Agriculture and with
producer organizations in the private sector, RTTS addresses
constraints to rural technology generation and dissemination.

The third type of joint project involves institutional
development. An agricultural extension system, a national rural
health and family planning system, a teacher training system for
primary schools, and a watershed management system, are examples of
institutional development. It usually includes either starting or
strengthening a specific LDC training institution, often at the
university level, but sometimes at the secondary level, and sometimes
barely literate villagers receive training. The U.S. is probably the
best among all the donors in the field of institutional development.
The University of Florida's USAID contract to support the development
of the University Center for Agriculture in Dschang, Cameroon is a
good example of an institutional development project.

What Donor Funds Are Used For

Now, the question is, what are the donor funds actually spent on?
They are spent on two things broadly. One is foreign exchange costs
and the other is local currency costs. Foreign exchange costs are the
costs that have to be paid by a developing country for its development
projects in dollars, or in British pounds, or in French francs; that
is, paid in what's called a hard currency. This is the LDCs scarcest
commodity so, not surprisingly, it's the one thing they particularly
want from foreign aid donors. That money is not used to provide Swiss
bank accounts for the leaders of the countries, as is often alleged.
That money is used to buy goods and services. For example, the
training of LDC professionals at foreign institutions is such a
foreign exchange cost--one the countries simply cannot afford to put
their own funds into. In the University of Florida's recently
completed, USAID-funded Malawi Project some 38 Malawians were trained
at the MSc or PhD levels at the University of Florida and at a number
of other U.S. universities. Hard currency supplied by USAID covered
Malawi's foreign exchange costs for this training.

Second, donor funds are spent on the providing of capital
equipment such as laboratory equipment for colleges, vehicles for
health supervisors, or, for the big players, turbines for dams.
That's another foreign exchange cost.

Third, donor funds pay for foreign exchange costs of foreign
specialists to train local professionals. That's where university
faculty and staff come in. Your salaries, those of you who go into a
foreign aid contract, are foreign exchange costs for the project and
are paid by foreign donors.

USAID usually puts all of these types of foreign exchange costs
together. That is, the training, equipment, and technical experts are
put in a single contract package, and usually a U.S. university works
for some years in an LDC providing training, equipment, and experts.

Local currency costs are costs paid inside the LDC in the LDC's
own currency (of which they often have more than they need, hence,
inflation). They're used for such things as constructing buildings
with local contractors, rural credit for small farmers, and sometimes
for budgetary support for the government itself.

Basic Role of Foreign Aid in Development Projects
What is it that foreign aid does besides supply money? You'll be
interested to know that, in fact, we don't supply most of the money in
a number of cases. The LDC has a paramount role in development
projects. The LDC provides the leadership, 10-50 percent of the cost
(depending on the poverty condition of the country and depending on
the project itself), 95 percent or more of the personnel, and they pay
virtually all the political and social costs of the project.
The key point here is, that for a joint project to succeed, an LDC
group with some power must want the project and must be willing to
work hard for it. If that's not there, forget the project if you're
interested in success. The role of the foreign aid program is to
weigh in behind this interest group with money, with talent, and with
access to decision makers. This is obviously extremely important, but
it's secondary. Regarding the influence that donors have, it's
through this sort of support to an LDC interest group, and the related
analysis and dialogue about the project and its larger environment,
that policies of LDCs are influenced in practical ways by effective
foreigners working with LDC reformers or interest groups (groups that
are interested in something happening). That, in a nutshell, is what
really effective foreign aid does.

Role of Research and the Centers of Professional Excellence
Most of the donor money goes for joint projects with LDCs, but a
considerable amount does go for research and for analysis in both the
natural sciences and the social sciences. This research is aimed at
such things as perfecting a malaria vaccine, devising ways to maintain
fragile coastline resources, or finding successful fuelwood
strategies. The list goes on. I think that the USAID budget for
research each year is somewhere around $100 million, give or take 10
or 20. For new projects, somewhere between $15-25 million is spent,
the rest provides continuing funding for ongoing projects. These
research projects usually do not involve LDC government financial
contributions. They often involve LDC and developed country scholars
and scientists working together in both the developing country and the
developed country research centers, linking the research centers
together. USAID usually contracts with U.S. academic institutions
like the University of Florida, or with a nonprofit organization such
as Battelle Institute or Winrock International, or Stanford Research
Institute. Usually they call for the U.S. contractor to bring in an
LDC institution. Sometimes the process is the reverse, but usually
not. The University of Florida entered into a such a project with a
five-year USAID contract in Zimbabwe, placing two scientists in that
country to work with the Harare Veterinary Research Laboratory. The
principle aim of the project is to develop a vaccine to control heart-

water, a tick-bone disease that kills cattle, sheep and goats
throughout the tropics.

With regard to both research and technical assistance abroad, you
ought to know that USAID has done more than any donor in organizing
technical experts to work abroad as short term consultants. In main
fields, but especially in agriculture, this is true. In this, we've
drawn particularly on land grant colleges. For example, Mississippi
State is surely the world's leader in questions of seed multiplication
technology. Kansas State is probably the world's leader on grain
storage systems. The University of Idaho has been given a grant to
become the world's leader on post-harvest losses of perishable food
other than cereals through its Post-Harvest Institute. The University
of Florida's Farming Systems Support Project has brought this
university to the forefront in Farming Systems Research and Extension.

Professionals and Peasants in Development

Without intellectuals and without trained professionals from the
developing countries and from the developed countries, there would be
little of the rapid development of the past 35 years. Professionals
identify large goals, plan large undertakings, suffer large failures,
and enjoy occasional successes. They go through the sweat,
frustration, and pain involved in pushing the process of change. They
evaluate what's happened in order to benefit future efforts. Those
are all good things. But, on the other hand, we should be clear that
professionals also take care of themselves. They profit
intellectually and financially from the development process.
Professionals talk among themselves, write for each other, and assume
that nonprofessionals will, or at least should, do as the
professionals advise them to do. I'm not being facetious. Having
worked in developing countries, I want to make a point.. These
characterizations are particularly accurate for the developing world
where most professionals come from the small social or religious elite
groups in the country.

Regarding the peasants in the villages or on scattered farms, most
development projects over the past 35 years have been what are called
"top down." Another phrase that is used which is accurate is that
they were "parachuted in" on villages, on scattered farmers, and on
nomadic groups. In fact, the LDC elite have been treated little
better by the professionals in their country or ours. Basically,
professionals have done development to people. Much of development
effort has failed. I don't mean it's all failed by any means, but
much of it has failed. There is one simple reason for that. The
top-down approach has its place. It works fine for projects to build
highways, or to build universities, or for capital intensive
production enterprises. It worked very well in the Marshall Plan.
But it works badly for projects to change the way large groups of
people do things--projects like family planning, labor intensive
farming, or renewable resource management. Most projects that most of
you will be involved in will be aimed at behavior change of rural
people in the world's poorest countries.

There are two basic principles about such projects. One is that
behavior change projects that work must have important participation
in planning or evaluating by the people whose behavior is to be
changed. Participation must be sought, at least in evaluating the
actual working of the project as it is being implemented. One reason
for this is the second principle which is: the rural poor have a high
aversion to taking additional risks. Their lives are already too
risky. Behavior change is risky. In designing or implementing or
evaluating a behavior change project you must have the opinions of the
rural poor as to what risks they are prepared to take and under what
conditions they are prepared to take them. Otherwise, they are
unlikely to take the project seriously.

I might tell you that the rural poor are experts at dealing with
professionals. By and large they disregard them, because they're not
speaking together--they're not really communicating. It's breaking
through that communication wall that's the key problem and the key
need if professionals are going to be effective in working in rural
development or in resource management.

III. The Role of the University in USAID-Funded Development Projects

For USAID-funded projects, U.S. and LDC universities supply a
majority of the professionals. U.S. universities also provide
on-campus training for experienced LDC professionals. University
faculty are generally brought into the AID-funded activities through a
university contract and sometimes through a personal services contract
in two ways. One is for short term assignments in an LDC, say 30-90
days, to help the LDC government and the USAID mission plan or
evaluate projects or broader sector programs involving several
projects. Usually you will be asked to do analytical work for which
the USAID mission does not have qualified staff. Short term
assignments also may be undertaken to help in workshops, training
sessions, or to participate in policy and planning seminars with some
of the LDC's more talented people. Those are short term assignments.

Long term assignments are the other form of contract. Those are
usually for two years, hopefully renewable for another two, or a third
two. These assignments are in an LDC to help implement a project that
you may or may not have helped to plan and, unfortunately, you usually
will not have helped to plan it. You are usually given it. This
calls for a major commitment of time and involves, of course, family
decisions and career considerations.

There is a third element I want to mention, and that is,
particularly for research or for special analyses, the contracts may
call for you to do much work on the home campus. This is also true
for such things as complex computer-related analyses for LDC-based
projects. There's nothing quite as undependable as a computer in an

Main Steps in USAID-Funded Country Projects

The country project process takes 5-15 years all the way through.
So at least it's not short. And at best it's very long. Planning
takes anywhere from 1-3 years. Negotiations take from 6 months to a
year and implementation takes anywhere from 2-10 years, and with some
of the new projects, possibly longer.

Particularly frustrating is the fact that planning takes so long,
especially in USAID. The agency's been trying, with some success, to
shorten the process. In Nepal a 3-year radio education project took
four years to plan. That was despite the personal interest of the
King of Nepal and the Administrator of AID in Washington.





F Tf-

1 2 3

30-90 Day


4 b

-----rV\/tVV ^VA

2L-- xrs.

6 7 8

Consultancies & Long-
Term Contracts


1. Country development strategy statement preparation and approval.
2. Project identification document preparation and approval.
3. Project paper preparation and approval.
4. Project agreement negotiation and signing.
5. Contract negotiation and signing.
6. Implementation.
7. Evaluation.
8. Evaluation.

To illustrate the country project process we're going to deal with
a hypothetical country called Xzen. Xzen has it's name because of two



national characteristics. One is a philosophical acceptance of life's
tribulations, and in that you have the last three letters, "zen." The
"xen" reflects a skepticism, not to say hostility toward, foreign
ideas and foreigners sometimes themselves, as in xenophobia. So the
country is named Xzen. The key players are the government of Xzen (or
GOX as it is known in AID cables), the USAID mission to Xzen (or
USAID/X), and the AID headquarters in Washington, D.C. (AID/W). AID
in Washington is about 10,000 miles from USAID in Xzen.

GOX = Government of Xzen
USAID/X = USAID mission to Xzen (in Xzen)
AID/W = USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Then there will come into this little drama the University of Florida
campus. It is about 725 miles from AID/W. It is a long air trip from
Gainesville to Xzen--13,000 miles.



l-3Yrs 1 /2-Yr. 2-10 Yrs.

2 3- 4 5 -6 7 8

30-90 Day Consultancies & Long-
Consultancies Term Contracts


(Cw' 1. Country development strategy statement preparation and approval.
2. Project identification document preparation and approval.
3. Project paper preparation and approval.
4. Project agreement negotiation and signing.
5. Contract negotiation and signing.
6. Implementation.
7. Evaluation.
8. Evaluation.

The country development strategy statement or CDSS is really a
very important document--it establishes broad assistance strategy
within which a project proposal must fit in any country. There's a
CDSS for Xzen (and also for Sri Lanka, Tanzania, etd.). Xzen's CDSS
lays out broadly where Xzen is trying to go in development and where
USAID fits in by major problem areas, for example, food production or
renewable resource management. CDSS is based on the country
situation, guidance from Washington about worldwide problems, and
analyses and evaluations which take place in Xzen or which are brought
into AID's memory system from other places. Interesting enough, as
AID gets older, its memory gets better. The CDSS is prepared by USAID

staff, but it draws heavily on prior analyses by consultants, by World
Bank teams and that sort of thing. Also, the CDSS estimates general
budget requirements for the next five years. Nobody of course takes
these projections seriously, but OMB said we had to have them.

In Xzen

Let me tell you a little about Xzen. Xzen has two neighbors. One
is called Aggressia and the other is called Friendlia. Xzen and
Friendlia are friendly but Freindlia and Aggressia are not friendly
and Friendlia has said the enemy of my enemy is my friend. There is a
very important political discussion we're going to deal with.
Aggressia is near an unnatural boudary of Xzen which is just
arbitrarily put through a series of mountains. Another part of the
border between Xzen and Aggressia is a natural boundary, a river
system. There are three river systems inside Xzen which are important
as watersheds and will be involved in the discussion later on. X is
the capital of Xzen.

USAID's CDSS identifies three problem areas of desirable
concentration. Increased food production is critical, child health
and family planning are critical, and deforestation and soil erosion
are critical. AID should concentrate on those three areas. USAID/X's
arguments favoring this choice were based on some years of work by a
UN FAO team that had been in Xzen working on watershed B and had come
up with a lot of data about watershed problems, soil erosion,
deforestation, etc. Also, the CDSS drew on a wide ranging analysis
about the whole sector of resource management by a University of
Florida (UF) consultant who is an expert in forestry and watershed
management. USAID/X and the UF consultant had a number of informal
talks with professionals and with government officials of Xzen and
this was reflected in the CDSS. In addition, there had been a good
deal of preparatory softening up of AID/W through letters and by the
USAID/X director's visit. And as any of you who know Washington
realize, that's really the way decisions get influenced. Formal
documents are one thing but real communication is another. The CDSS
made the following points about a project to deal with the problems of
deforestation and soil erosion: 1) A long term effort is needed, U.S.
support would be required probably for 15 years; 2) AID should provide
$30 million over the next five years and; of course, there should be
more from other donors in parallel projects; 3) The project is a
natural for involvement of a land grant university through the Title
XII Foreign Assistance Act, which is the authority under which, for
example, the University of Florida Strengthing Grant was received, and
which urges AID and land grant schools to work together.

The CDSS is sent by airpouch to AID/W.


In Washington the CDSS is carefully reviewed. A cable is drafted
to go out to the mission from AID/W which says, "Look, we agree with
your CDSS analysis and the areas of concentration, but with regard to
the deforestation and soil erosion that proposal is 500 percent bigger

than any previous AID project in that country and we don't think you
can do it. However, prepare a PID and send it in. We'll let you
know." The cable is sent to USAID/X.



1-3Yrs /2-lYr. 2-10 Yrs.

2 3 4 5 6 7
T\ I" -- -

30-90 Day Consultancies & Long-
Consultancies Term Contracts
1. Country development strategy statement preparation and approval.
(CZ'2. Project identification document preparation and approval.
3. Project paper preparation and approval.
4. Project agreement negotiation and signing.
5. Contract negotiation and signing.
6. Implementation.
7. Evaluation.
8. Evaluation.

In Xzen

With that cable authority, USAID/X sits down and prepares a
project identification document or PID. The CDSS laid the groundwork
but the PID is the first explicit statement of the project process.
It's a preliminary statement about the intended project--it's about
10-15 pages, it's intended to get a fast review and a "go-no/go"
decision from AID/W. It also triggers a couple of things. One, it
triggers a search by AID/W of its memory and the provision of advice
on typical problems to watch out for on that sort of project. Second,
it triggers advice from Washington on the key concerns to deal with in
the final project paper. For example, a PID might go into Washington,
get reviewed, and if it's "go," AID/W might say "make sure you're
dealing with A, B, C, and D."

The PID is drafted by USAID/X in collaboration with GOX. It is
based on three things: 1) the University of Florida consultant's
report, 2) the evaluations of the UN FAO project in watershed B, 3)
the evaluation of a small farm production project underway in Xzen,
with technical assistance under another AID-funded contract. The PID
entitles the project Renewable Resource Management. It proposes five
years in phase I of the project, costing about $30 million. This will
fund three things: 1) a national resource management training
center--the institutional development idea--the development of a
secondary and college level institution to train various level
professionals and subprofessionals in the field of resource

management; 2) field work in the three watersheds, A, B, and C in
Xzen; 3) decentralized planning and management of the field work in
these watersheds by the district and village councils in those



1-3Yrs 1/2-lYr. 2-10 Yrs.
-F T } T "~

12 13 4 5 6 7

30-90 Day Consultancies & Long-
Consultancies Term Contracts

1. Country development strategy statement preparation and approval.
2. Project identification document preparation and approval.
gSf= 3. Project paper preparation and approval.
4. Project agreement negotiation and signing.
5. Contract negotiation and signing.
6. Implementation.
7. Evaluation.
8. Evaluation.

The PID says that for the next phase, the project paper or PP, a
team of analysts is needed. The team's skills should include remote
sensing, soils, land use planning, local administration, forestry,
cultural anthropology (particularly dealing with the role of women in
the development process), and economics. The PID went on to say that
AID/W should get proposals from several institutions and send them
over for the Government of Xzen and for USAID/X to select from. A
separate letter said AID/W could tell the institutions that good work
on the PP means they'd have the inside track on the implementation
contract. USAID added that the contractor selected should be one with
strong interest in development on the part of the college leadership.

The PID was mailed to Washington.

In Washington the PP was reviewed with a good deal of interest,
considering the price tag. Washington reviewed its institutional
memory and prepared a cable saying, "Okay, you've made a good case,
but absolutely no more than $30 million, and pay careful attention in
the PP to the following: the role of women in the process, because
they are among other things the principal wood gatherers;
participation by the villagers; and the commitment of the government
of Xzen. We want you to use the following as evidence of GOX

commitment: good interagency coordinating mechanism, because this is
going to involve a lot of agencies; sending good staff to national
training center, and budget buildup to support the project."

The cable was sent to USAID/X.

In Xzen

The cable was welcomed as good news. The project had cleared the
main hurdle. Everyone cheered. The mission director had a beer with
her lunch. She then called the government of Xzen and was "guardedly
optimistic." Then they began a serious dialogue on issues raised by


Now we move from the PID process and into the PP. AID/W has the
job at this point. Under the PID they were told to get a team. So
they obtained proposals to prepare the PP from three land grant
groups. One was a consortium of some 6-8 schools, another was the
University of Idaho in a team with Washington State University
(UI/WSU) and the third was the University of Florida. AID/W got
together the proposals, looked them over, tidied them up, and sent
them to USAID/X for review by the government of Xzen and they also
added a point. They said, "Look, we really prefer a single
institution to a consortium in any event, but we even prefer a single
institution to a pair of schools, and though we may have talked about
consortia a few years ago, we're not really so hot about them anymore.
But it's true that this project involves such a wide range of
disciplines that probably no one institution can provide good,
available talent." Having delivered themselves of that sermon, they
then said choose between those three. That information went out by
airpouch from AID/W to USAID/X.

In Xzen

The Government of Xzen looked the thing over and, all other things
being equal, but because of its strength in tropical agriculture, the
University of Florida Team was selected.


Here we find that the Florida campus has selected its six or seven
people and the team members did some important things. One, they
learned where Xzen is located. Second, they went to Hugh Popenoe's
office and read a copy of AID's handbook on project design. What does
AID mean when they talk about a PP? This document will tell you. The
next thing they did was to get inoculations, airtickets, and shopping
lists from their spouses. Then, the team departed for Xzen, 13,000
miles away and arrived suffering from jet lag.

In Xzen

All parties agreed that the UF team leader will stay for six

months in Xzen and the others will stay anywhere from one to three
months. Also there was a breakthrough on this team. USAID agreed to
include a UF doctoral candidate with the team to be an administrative
aide and to help on data gathering. They concluded this might be the
solution to the catch-22 problem of getting started. USAID/X has a
project design team of its own, three people on its staff. They will
actually write the 50-page project paper itself. What they're looking
for from UF is indepth analyses and consultations with the government
of Xzen and with the USAID/Xteam. The leader of the UF team reports
to the chairperson of the USAID/X team. The USAID/X team provides
briefings to the UF team, provides guidance, door opening in GOX (not
a matter of courtesy but a matter of getting acquainted), logistical
support, a lot of dialogue and of course a review of the products.
The UF team members work 7 days per week, talk to GOX officials
and academicians, travel to villages and talk to village leaders.
They hammer out approaches on key issues in quiet evening discussions
over a beer with the government of Xzen and USAID/X. Then they do all
the fun things such as staying in interesting hotels, sleeping in mud
huts on field trips, watching out for bugs, visiting local markets,
getting suntanned, and getting dysentery. In due course, the team
completed its studies. They are reviewed by GOX and by USAID/X. Some
reworking was called for--you can expect that. Participation of
villagers, and women in particular, needs to be more clearly spelled
out, they said. Too many technical experts have been proposed to suit
the government of Xzen. USAID/X said that the role of the private
sector lumber company is not clear. These matters call for about ten
more person-weeks of work the team leader says. That's the problem
because the team has to get back to campus and the PP deadline is fast
approaching. What to do? Well, the solution is obvious. You punt.
GOX, USAID/X, and the team agree that they'll identify the
deficiencies in the PP and they'll call for more detailed plans before
money is released for work on these specific areas once the
implementation starts. That's a standard gambit when you run out of
time. You make clear to people that you're aware of the problem and
that you'll work on it. Quite often that's enough. Based on UF team
analyses and plans which are about 1,000 pages, the USAID/X project
team concludes its work on the 50-page project paper. The university
team reports become annexes to the PP. GOX reviews and OK's the
package and it's carried to Washington by USAID/X's project officer.


USAID/X's project officer stays in Washington to shepherd the PP
through the review process. Like any sensible advocate, he visits the
important reviewers in their own offices before any of the meetings
take place and he answers their concerns in private talks. When the
review is all over he's done well except there's one big problem. The
project has busted the budget, despite what Washington said. It's $10
million too high says Washington. This depends on what rate of
inflation you assume over the next five years, which may seem like an
esoteric argument, but indeed in this case it wasn't because you have
to project for five years. Is it going to be $40 million or $30
million? There's a big argument. The final decision is painful but

acceptable. That is, the project is approved, but Washington dropped
one watershed. Work in two instead of three watersheds. That will
reduce the project cost to about $30 million under Washington
inflation projections. A cable to this effect goes out to the field.

In Xzen

Here again, good news. The cable from Washington tells USAID/X
that the AID administrators from Washington have approved the project.
You'll not be surprised to learn that once again the mission director
has a beer with her lunch. Next she notifies the GOX. You might be
surprised to learn the GOX officials have whiskey and soda. So much
for the PP process. We've finished planning.

We now go into negotiations. There are two parts of negotiations,
one in Xzen and one in Washington. The PA stands for project
agreement. That's an agreement between USAID/X and GOX. In this case
the PA has to identify which of the watersheds will be worked in and
which one will be dropped. GOX agonizes over this. It's their
decision, not AID's. You'll not be surprised to learn that political
considerations prevail. The two watersheds near the capital with the
most people in them, in which the most work has been done, which are
easiest to work it would seem like the logical ones for them to pick
up for political reasons. Wrong. They looked at Aggressia and said,
"Uh-huh, this watershed feeds water into Aggressia right along our
border, this is where we know Aggressia has agents working, and this
is where they'd like to sow the seeds of discontent." Not only did
they say that, but the local leaders in watershed C know that they can
use that argument with the central government. And they do. So the
watershed that is dropped is watershed B, which is easiest to work in,
has the most work done on it, and will give you the greatest success
the most rapidly. This is, I think, par for the course. These are
important political decisions. I'm being a little facetious, but
these are the things that come to bear on most development projects.
Probably this was the correct decision. In any event, A and C will be
the watersheds worked in. The PA is signed. The process moves on to
contract negotiations between USAID and the technical assistance team


The government of Xzen and a team from USAID/X and AID/W visit the
campus to assess three possible contract groups for implementation.
Because of a number of reasons, particularly because they have the
inside track and have done a good job, UF makes the most convincing
presentation and is selected.

AID/W and UP negotiate a contract. The negotiators come to
Washington and each party tries to pin the other down and leave itself
flexible as any good negotiator would. After several days of
posturing by each side, the contract is signed.

After 1/2 1 year of negotiations, we're now into implementation
which will take 2-10 years. This, of course, is really the most

important task. It takes us back to Xzen where the people involved
now include the UF team.



1-3Yrs 1/2-lYr. 2-10 Yrs.

2 3 4 5 6 7

30-90 Day Consultancies & Long-
Consultancies Term Contracts


1. Country development strategy statement preparation and approval.
2. Project identification document preparation and approval.
3. Project paper preparation and approval.
4. Project agreement negotiation and signing.
5. Contract negotiation and signing.
(Q' 6. Implementation.
(C= 7. Evaluation.
8. Evaluation.

We'll talk a little bit now about implementation and evaluation.
We've put the word "GOl" here on the chart. This means that at this
point you're on your way. The important first task is the selection
and fielding of the technical assistance team members. This is done
on the Florida campus but it involves GOX and USAID/X and, of course,
the team members and their families.

The chief of party is the most critical selection. The ideal
chief of party is professionally strong, a good manager, and effective
at working relations across cultures. To the UF's surprise, GOX wants
several candidates presented for each position and USAID/X supports
the government in this. Fortunately, UF has been screening candidates
informally since the PP was OK'd. So they have a long list and are
not dismayed. The chief of party is selected and goes to Xzen with
his family and with a list of candidates for the GOX to review. He
takes along his first 90-day consultant, not an expert in range
management but a skilled University of Florida administrative officer.
The administrative officer will set up offices, find living quarters,
recruit local accountants, and set up financial arrangements. These
are important things to do because they save much time of the
substantive people when they get there. (By the way, most contracts
don't provide for this, and they should).

Back on the campus, meanwhile, the on-campus coordinators have
been selected by UF and they set up family orientation programs and
support arrangements for those going to Xzen. Within six months the

full team and their families are in place in Xzen.

In Xzen

Meanwhile, the government of Xzen is doing its bit in bringing its
personnel from other duties, selecting sites for field offices for the
new training center, and the government of Xzen and UF team's chief of
party and USAID/X get a practical dialogue underway with the leaders
in each watershed (A and C). Now, you will not be surprised to learn
that there are no women in the leadership group. The issues aired are
as follows and not surprising. The local leaders want fast results,
like the mayors of any town. USAID and GOX want small farmers and
herdsmen and women fuel gatherers to have a role in planning and
evaluating. The chief of party, thinking about how his team will
function, wants some local facilities for his team. These things are
chewed over and worked out and next a detailed work plan is developed
jointly by the government of Xzen and by the UF team.

When that's completed, the funds are released by AID and the
government of Xzen. Now the project can really begin to go. (There
are a lot of preliminaries before something really starts, even after
a contract is signed. Probably we're somewhere between the middle and
the end of the first year by the time funds are actually released).

By the end of the first year we have the following: some small,
visible rural work getting underway as the local leaders asked; a
national training center syllabus completed and courses begun, even
though they're in temporary buildings; an information system which
includes village feedback; and an annual consulting schedule with
provisions for quarterly updating so all parties can depend on
consultants arriving on time. (A critical thing which is forgotten in
most projects). Finally, you have UF families delighting in exploring
a new culture. You'll not be surprised to learn the children pick up
the Xzenian language very quickly.

Now two years have passed. The government of Xzen and the UF
team have hit their strides, lots of inputs are occurring but the
question is, What are the outputs? What has changed? So, an
evaluation is done. The GOX, UF, and USAID/X combine forces in an
evaluation. It's not somebody looking at them and seeing what they're
doing, it's the group together evaluating their own work. But USAID/X
does the bulk of the staff work because they have the responsibility
for turning in the paper. The evaluation finds many things. For
example, it finds that the villagers in watershed A are planning and
maintaining their grassland much better than the villagers in
watershed C. The construction of the national training center
buildings have gotten behind schedule. GOX financial support is below
target. Professional analyses and training course preparations are on
schedule but the local computer support is undependable. The main
goals of the project remain feasible. As a result of the evaluation,
changes are made in the work plans to deal with the correctable flaws
and to reflect unavoidable delays or failures. The PP is revised so
that it will remain a valid guide and reference document.

Now, for two more years work goes on with changes in personnel and
situations. VIP visitors come and go; everybody likes to see a
watershed. Not for too long a period of time, but they like to see
it. Nothing like a night in the village. The villagers continue to
struggle with production and conservation problems. Watershed elite
come to accept this crazy idea about women's participation, because
it's the price of the project. Periodic reviews take place.

Then we come to the end of the fourth year and another evaluation.
This is a major evaluation. The big issue is, should the project go
into phase II at the end of the fifth year, or should it be
terminated? Evaluation 2 finds a number of things. 1) Environmental
deterioration in Xzen is still accelerating. 2.) Some village areas
have improved production and conservation. 3) A few women leaders
have emerged in each watershed. 4) Through project dialogue and
analysis over the four years, much more is known by GOX and by USAID/X
and by the UF team about the conservation problems and the practical
approaches to deal with them. 5) As a result--and this is a big
breakthrough--national strategy for resource management for all of
Xzen can now be prepared. 6) In this strategy village level
management is now seen by all as one key to success. 7) The GOX's
policy support for conservation needs strengthening. 8) A "ground
truth" information system to augment satellite data has been found
practical in this watershed using villagers having little education.
That's a major breakthrough. GOX, USAID/X, and AID/W come to an
informal conclusion that the project should continue into phase II and
that the UF team should be part of the extension for another five

Evaluation findings feed back into a number of things. They
feedback into the CDSS regarding broad assistance strategy for the
U.S. over the succeeding five years, into another revision of the PP
to go to AID/W for formal review and approval of phase II, and they
feedback into a new PID proposing a new project which flowed out of
the findings on this project--small farmer production using the
farming systems approach, and promoting on-farm conservation.

The next good news is that institutional development is taking
place. The Xzenian PH.D. and M.S. trainees who have been on Florida's
and other U.S. university campuses are returning to Xzen and they're
phasing into the work being performed by the UF team members. That's
a success. The American specialists have worked themselves out of a
job. They return to their home campus, the team makeup changes.
Those returning to the States, however, will remain active with the
project as intermittent consultants.

IV. Four Types of Problems Faced by Most Campuses During
Implementation of a Project

1. Cultural orientation. Cultural orientation and language
training for the team and their families are the first big
issue. The questions are, How much to do on campus? How
much to do in Xzen? With regard to the latter, what is the
value of spending 2-6 weeks in a Xzenizan village receiving

intensive language tutoring? In Xzen everyone is anxious
that the empty technical assistance positions be filled and
that work get started. On the other hand, language skill is
important for field work. These are tradeoffs.

2. The second problem has to do with the priority of the project
itself. There's continuing disagreement among the deans and
department heads about the priority of the project and
whether to encourage high quality faculty to spend 2-4 years
in Xzen instead of on the campus. The reluctance of many,
faculty members to risk being overlooked for promotion by,
being away from the campus is also a factor. Similarly,
after returning from several years of stimulating work in
Xzen, the faculty find it difficult to place articles about
their work in main line professional journals. Everyone
agrees that the problems are serious. Everyone also agrees
that solutions are possible. An important point is that
AID/W becomes critical of the university's delay in coming to
grips with the problem and this will affect whether or not
the UF will be selected again for a major contract.

3. This is a problem over in Xzen. It is the UF chief of
party's problem. How does the chief of party handle a tricky
situation that developed in the second year of the project?
In that year a conflict developed in Xzen involving the
project's national training center near the capital. The
Xzenian teaching staff learned that their positions were not
being made permanent and they began leaving the project.
Second, the GOX's finance minister refused to allocate the
agreed level of funds for the training staff salaries and for
construction of permanent training facilities. If not
solved, the targets for trained field workers and trained
village leaders to work in the watershed and in the
institution itself would not be met and the project could not
succeed. There are two GOX bureaus involved, one is the
Bureau of Forests and the other is the Bureau of Resource
Conservation. At the heart of the problem was the
indifference of the Director of the Bureau of Forests
regarding the training institution, which fell under his
jurisdiction, and which he was using as a ploy to get funds
for other activities.

The University of Florida Chief of Party saw three
different ways to approach the problem.

a. Rely on his counterpart (the GOX project coordinator)
and the coordinator's boss, the Director of the Resource
Conservation Bureau (who cared a lot about the training
center) to fight the matter through the bureaucratic
minefield. The Director of the Resource Conservation
Bureau was much younger and bureaucratically weaker than
the Director of the Bureau of Forests.

b. Use his well-developed contacts to go over the heads of

the Bureau chiefs and try to get a favorable decision
from the Secretary of the Department of Forests and
Resource Conservation (boss of both bureau chiefs).

c. Keep a low profile and rely on the Director of USAID/X
to battle this out with interested GOX parties using his
legitimate access to all levels of GOX.

4. Experienced national level resource managers from,Xzen were
sent to Gainesville for M.S. level training. Xzenian staff
from the national training center were sent for M.S. and
Ph.D. degrees. In trying to provide effective training, the
on-campus coordinators found most faculty and department
heads indifferent to the special language, academic, and
cultural requirements of these older students to be able to
have significant and positive learning experiences. AID and
GOX became concerned. A proposal was made to have thesis and
dissertation research done on problems of Xzen and all field
work done in Xzen with trainees and to work out research
topics and methodology with the University of Xzen and
concerned GOX bureaus. An on-campus committee would be
responsible for working out appropriate coursework, including
arranging for tutoring in technical English. Once a year, a
project team member from GOX and UF teams would visit
campuses together to participate with on-campus committees in
evaluation and planning of the general training program. The
proposal was debated by the faculties.

What would you propose be done about these problems?