GETTING INVOLVED IN THE GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT MARKET meldunn.com.au
Australia is blessed with an incredible pool of talent and experience, across a broad range of industries, and it is this expertise that could provide significant and sustainable benefits into communities where a development initiative is targeted.
The challenge for many firms and individuals wishing to participate in development activities is in understanding intricacies of process to secure involvement. Activities through agencies such as Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), World Bank and Asian Development Bank, are usually let through a public, competitive tendering process. Adding to this challenge is fact that in almost all cases, process is different for each agency.
Myth – that development industry is different.
Well of course it is, as are all industries – different clients, different products, different channels to market, different cultures, different environments, different risks etc.
What makes it same is need to ensure client needs are met, if not exceeded, and that products and services are as desired/needed, not imposed.
So how do you get involved? Is it luck? It is skill? Is it people, products or services?
All and more I am sure.
A key step often required is need to demonstrate experience, understanding, value, sustainability of strategies etc to those assessing a tender.
Reality Check - Successful tenders must be compliant to requirements of request, must be price competitive, and need to find balance between technical requirements of response and selling nature of process.
One of most important aspects of development initiatives is their ability to produce sustainable outcomes into communities within which activities take place. Consequently, learning from past activities assists to shape style of future initiatives. For firms or individuals seeking participation, understanding how such learning could modify development approaches is a critical step in determining type and level of involvement to target.
Fact – learning from past activities continues to shape future interventions.
The Development Market Today
The following points are some key observations about directions [approaches] being taken in provision of development assistance. These directions have potential to impact on any strategy organisations and individuals might adopt to enter, maintain, or increase their involvement:
•Funds are being diverted from government aid agencies to other government departments for sector-specific programs •There is a continuing trend to devolve more decision making to offshore post of donor country, away from ‘central’ headquarters •An increase in donor co-ordination and collaboration where, for example, USA [through USAID] and Australia [through AusAID] might align program approaches to avoid duplication and other associated impediments, into a sector-wide approach •A trend seeing more assistance being aligned to foreign policy where, for example, security and regional stability could influence aid disbursement •Bilateral donors are opening their markets, allowing for individuals and organisations to compete for once closed opportunities •There is an increasing trend for a move to larger activities, such as sector-wide approaches, as opposed to specific project interventions •Scale and global reach is likely to be an important criteria in winning and managing major programs •Relationships and networks in country with donor representatives, recipient governments, local organisations and development professionals are becoming increasingly important.