Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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13.5.1 Barriers

Technology transfer between countries confronts many of the barriers already discussed in Section 13.4.1, although there are some additional barriers:

  • Lack of clear regulatory and investment frameworks: Unclear, outdated or impractical regulatory frameworks can pose significant challenges for project development, and the problems may be particularly acute where international ventures are concerned. International projects require not only clear regulations and policies for the waste management sector, but also strong legal institutions and clear investment and tax policies, as discussed in Section I.
  • Limited financing for South-South activities: Most technology transfer to date has been along a North-South axis, and given financial constraints in many developing countries and CEITs , this situation is likely to continue. Creative means of using developed country bilateral aid to provide opportunities for South-South transfers should be emphasised, however, since these countries may confront challenges that are unlike those found in developed countries. In particular, these countries may find that particular waste management approaches that are not used or not workable in developed countries are highly effective and replicable in their situations.
  • An overemphasis on projects, at the expense of capacity building activities: Some of the most significant technology transfer activities in this sector will be those that develop the capacities of local governments, community groups and small private enterprises to deliver appropriate services to local populations. Such projects typically do not require large capital investments, but instead rely on the capacities of local groups to work together and marshal their own resources to implement effective projects. Too often, however, technology transfer activities focus on the development of large capital-intensive projects that may not be appropriate or sustainable. The provision of capacity building services requires significant commitments of time and personnel, and may lead to the ultimate choice of technologies that are not being promoted by the funding country (USAID, 1997). These elements may pose barriers to donor countries attempting to develop effective capacity building programmes.

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