Improving management of expatriates

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.

Attempts to establish a permanent corps of specialists for service in developing countries have rarely been successful, because staff are not offered promising career prospects. France and Sweden have instead encouraged the secondment of staff from regular public and private employment for service overseas. Canada, the UK, and the USA have formed private organizations of retired executives to carry out short-term consultancy work in developing countries. A similar scheme has been launched in Germany.
Counter Claim:
While expatriates often have much to contribute, local consultants should not be neglected. Some donor agencies, such as the UNDP and the World Bank, have declared their preference for national rather than expatriate consultants when both are equally competent. Some of the more advanced developing countries can already offer considerable consulting expertise.
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal