Studies on international cooperation point to the decrease in funds for the development of self-sustaining projects in the underdeveloped countries. Since the end of the cold war international cooperation policies have been changing continually, often leaving projects half finished, changing priorities in regard to recipient countries, types of projects, etc. Projects to create their own human resources and local institutional capacities in the poor countries have been greatly weakened and in many cases enormous distrust has been manifest among local managers.
There is a perceived emphasis on methodological aspects of project formulation, follow-up and evaluation which seek to replace the absence of clear guidelines and aims in cooperation. Pressure for "concrete" results is observed and behavioural models are sought among "profit-making" enterprises without there necessarily being any understanding of the intrinsic characteristics of the processes of human and community development, which by definition cover a more prolonged timespan.
International cooperation very often concentrates its activities on a country that is in difficulties or conflict and once a minimal solution to these has been found, or they are no longer "in fashion", the country is dropped as it no longer "qualifies" in terms of criteria for emergencies, generally arbitrarily adopted. In so far as international cooperation has no rules or criteria relating or linked with the right to development or the principles of economic, social and cultural rights, decisions are made by specialists and technical experts or by a changing public.
A rethinking of international cooperation is needed with its principal objective being to create local and autonomous bases for sustainable and self-sustained or development.