Many development and government institutions are keen to build capacity. While we understand that, it is very challenging in the context of contract negotiation.
Firstly, governments do not regularly negotiate investment contracts (mines, airports, railways). These projects come around every several years and so it is challenging to “build capacity” in a discipline which is so rarely used.
Secondly, given the market realities, any capacity that is provided will be more than likely “pinched” by the private sector, which almost always can offer a better financial package than governments for their employees. Our experts, however, do carry out a great deal of indirect capacity building.
Working with an expert over 10, 20, 40 days or more exposes the government to both hard and soft skills – ways of working, strategic thinking, coordination, technical interpretation of data, creating financial models.
In that respect, we may not be “officially” building capacity, but through the cooperation and coordination, government officials learn a great deal.
Long-term, it is important that an array of experts are trained in the country. Starting with law students in universities may be a good start. After all, any long-term natural resource or infrastructure project will be accompanying them through their adult lives.
Wherever CONNEX works, our mission is to empower governments to negotiate better contracts. Below are just a couple of examples of our supported projects.