Deputy Director General, University of Tokyo, Japan
No development aid should be provided without knowledge transfer. Both sides, donors and recipients, often fail to make full use of knowledge to maximize the effects of valuable aid. A loan to build a dam would have more impact if the feasibility study of the dam by the donor bank is conducted involving engineers in the recipient country because the knowledge of how to conduct a feasibility study will be transferred to local engineers. Even if an aid project understands the importance of knowledge transfer, one-time knowledge transfer in the project would not be sufficient. Education and on-the-job training
(OJT) should be repeatedly done or explicit knowledge should be expressed as manuals to make knowledge firmly implanted in the recipient side. If some of the recipients acquire enough knowledge to teach others then the project can be evaluated as very successful. The saddest cases were when the recipient government requested us to offer only machinery and told us that they didn’t need training to master how to use the machinery, and the other was when the very hopeful counterpart of the recipient organization left the project in the middle due to some organizational reasons and the knowledge transfer in the project was stopped. All aid should go with knowledge transfer programmes or should be knowledge transfer programmes themselves. I heartily hope that both donors and recipients will carefully draw up development plans, always having this viewpoint in mind.