Nele Nõu

Title: ‘Learning in Development Cooperation: the Case of Estonia’

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Tiina Randma-Liiv

Opponent: Andreas Sepp, MA

Defense: 7 June 2012

Abstract: The study is intended to provide an answer to the question whether there is a functioning learning system in Estonian development cooperation. To address the research question, interdisciplinary study including two wide and diverse areas – development cooperation and learning, is carried out. The thesis puts special emphasis on knowledge sharing modes (from previous experience, from other aid donors and from the recipient period), levels (individual, organizational and country level) and learning types (tacit and explicit knowledge transfer). Theoretical part of the study is divided into two parts. First part gives an overview about development aid in global context. The concept of the aid chain and shortcomings of technical assistance delivery are introduced. Second part designs a basis for the analysis according to different levels and types of knowledge sharing and learning. Empirical study is based on document analysis and interviews. Ten interviews were carried out with development aid and governmental organization representatives, a coordinating institution representative and an individual consultant.

Keywords: development cooperation, learning and knowledge sharing, transition economies.