Training for Development Administration: Historical Perspectives

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Book Chapter

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It is four decades ince renowned development planner Albert Waterston (1965; 249) observed regrettably that the administrative systems of governments in less developed countries (LDCs) are incapable of dealing with the range, variety, and complexity of administrative problems presented by development planning. This statement holds as true today, especially in Africa, as it did when it was first made in the 1960s. At that time most African countries had just won their independence from European colonial powers. Thus it was conceivable that development planning could pose a challenge to the emerging leadership. What is difficult to understand is that today, four decades later, African countries remain incapable of administering development. At the same time the administrative problems have grown more complex. Perhaps even more noteworthy is the fact that the administrative systems in these countries remain virtually unchanged and unprepared to deal with the new challenges. If the systems are anachronistic, it is because they were developed around a nucleus that was established by colonial authorities. The goals of these authorities differ sharply from, and in some cases are in diametric opposition to, those of their contemporary governments in the region.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Training for Development Administration: Historical Perspectives, in J. L. Daly (Ed.), Training in Developing Nations: A Handbook for Expatriates, Routledge, chapter 5