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Time-Questions

1. The Problem


In the view of the interviewees the problem has two sides: First, there is a lot of time pressure that actors of German development cooperation carry as part of their baggage when they arrive in a foreign country; second, on the ground they are confronted by different conceptions of time that make their work more difficult.

The time pressure in development cooperation arises, because everyone who works in one of the different organizations of development cooperation has a mission and a client, who expects results within a certain amount of time. Reporting requirements and evaluations rhythms are the expression of these expectations. The term client here has to be seen in the widest possible sense. This includes the voter, whose taxes flow into the budget and on to the institution, projects and programs of development cooperation.

Employees of international aid organizations arrive in their partner countries with this pressure and there they experience that partners have a different approach to time, for example as regards the importance of appointments and deadlines. The behavior of the partners endangers the time limits that are set at home by the sending organization.
One of those questioned, reported from his experience in Nepal: “it was difficult to convey our time pressure to our Nepalese partners. Their point of view was: what we do not achieve in this life, we will manage in the next.”

How to deal with this time pressure? The instruction of the mother organization to solve the problem locally and situation dependent clearly is not enough.

Therefore Hans-Joachim Preuss, General Secretary of Deutsche Welthungerhilfe demands “We already have to take the factor time into consideration in our definition of development.” Other interviewees also were of the opinion: our approach to time in development cooperation must become more of a subject. The factor time has to be part of the equation from the beginning.


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Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH Bischöfliches Hilfswerk MISEREOR


Die Zeit

The time pressure in development cooperation arises, because everyone who works in one of the different organizations of development cooperation has a mission and a client, who expects results within a certain amount of time.


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Results of the Survey (PDF, 164 kB)


Time-Questions

The Problem

Time and Man

Silver Bullet Participation?

Pro and Contra Speed

Starting With Us


List of Interviewees

Druckversion