Donors and recipients tend to approach technical assistance from different standpoints. Donors are naturally inclined to push such assistance as a ready solution to what they see as administrative shortcomings in the institutions to which they are lending. Recipient governments may be less convinced of the need for outside help; indeed, local officials often see the recruitment of expatriates as a threat to their own positions and promotion prospects. The proferred assistance may nevertheless be grudgingly accepted for fear that rejection may lead to the aid programme being reduced.
This conflict of interest can then be compounded. Local staff may not be consulted on exactly what kind of assistance they need. Salary differentials and differences in lifestyle can cause frictions. Personal qualities highly prized in the donor country may be unsuitable in a different culture. Experts chosen for their technical skills are often inept at training, and recipient governments anyhow usually prefer to use them as doers rather than as instructors.