4.5.1 Capacity-building for mitigation - an overview
There are many failures of technology transfer that result from an absence of
human and institutional capacity. For example, inappropriate choice of technology
can result from missing capabilities for searching, selecting and negotiating.
Joint ventures may not produce long-term learning or absorption of technology
or development of competence if capabilities for learning and integrating are
missing. Missing implementation capabilities may result in unsuccessful employment
of purchased technologies and unforeseen problems. Capacity is needed to assess,
select, import, develop and adapt appropriate technologies. When existing technologies
approach the end of their lifetime, replacement technology may require active
market research for identifying and evaluating new technologies, which is generally
limited because of the information costs and lack of indigenous capacity (Hoffman
and Garvin, 1990).
Much of the focus on capacity building has been on enhancing scientific and technical
skills, capabilities, and institutions in developing countries as a pre-condition
for assessing, adapting, managing, and developing technologies (UNCTAD, 1995).
But the need for enhanced skills and capabilities can also occur in the areas
of technology selection, financing, marketing, maintenance, service, information
dissemination, utility regulation, policy development, technology transfer, market
intermediation, tax policies, macroeconomic policies, and property rights. Many
studies acknowledge that capacity building needs vary greatly from country to
country, and stress that case studies and other types of analyses should assess
the needs of particular countries (see Mugabe, 1996; UNCSD, 1996 ; Van Berkel
et al., 1996).