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ITEC India – Indian expertise for sustainable development


• Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India • 45 Institutions in India • 156 partner countries

Country (ies)

• India and 156 other developing (partner) countries


The ITEC Civilian Training Programme was created to share Indian expertise in a range of fields to develop human capital in other developing countries (particularly the LDCs). The Government of India provides participants in the programme return airfare, course fees, accommodation, and a modest allowance. Participants may take courses from 45 reputed Indian institutions in government, information technology, telecommunications, management, SME/rural development, renewable energy, and other specialized disciplines. The ITEC Civilian Training Programme trains close to 5,000 participants per year.


What was the purpose and overall goal of the SSC activity? The objective of the ITEC Civilian Training Programme is to share Indian expertise with other developing countries in an effort to build capacity and develop human capital to facilitate long-term, sustainable growth.

What was the development challenge to which this SSC activity was meant to address?

The ITEC Programme aims to increase the supply and quality of skilled labor in other developing countries. The Programme is demand-driven and response-oriented and has evolved according to the needs and desires of the ITEC partner countries. The ITEC Programme also addresses Millennium Development Goal 8, Target 8f – to "make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications".

What were/are the expected results of this SSC activity?

Officially, the Government of India is not trying to get anything out of hosting the ITEC Programme. However, strengthening relations with other developing countries is a priority for the Government of India and an important part of foreign policy; the ITEC Programme contributes to that goal.

Why did the partners engage in the SSC activity?

The partner countries participate in the ITEC Civilian Training Program to benefit from the expertise of Indian Institutions to develop human capital (i.e. skilled labor) domestically in an effort to gain access to and knowledge of technology, etc. to facilitate long-term growth.

How did the political context or previous cooperation influence the planning process?

India has a long-standing, close relationship with other developing countries and values…


What kinds of SSC activities or modalities were conducted?

The ITEC Civilian Training Programme offers over 200 courses (the duration of which range from 2 weeks to 104) at 47 institutions in fields where India has developed expertise including
• Information Technology and Telecommunications
o Web Design
o Information and Network Security
o Network Engineering and Management
o Cyber Crime
o Database Administration
o Software Development
o CADD Engineering
o Broadband Technologies
o Optical Fiber Cables and Systems
o Mobile Technologies
• Renewable Energy
o Solar Electrification
o Wind Turbine Technology
o Biomass Energy
o Small Hydro Power (Assessment and Development)
o Environmental Mainstreaming in the Sustainable Development Context

• Rural Development
o Small and Micro Enterprise Development
o Rural Women Empowerment
o Sustainable Development
o Agriculture Development
o Rural Livelihoods
o Non-Profit Management

• Management
o Human Resource Planning and Management
o Executive Training
o Public Management and Policy

• Technical Training

Fertilizer Quality Control
o Tool Design
o Scientific (i.e. Biomedical, Optical/Ophthalmic, etc.) Instrument Training
o M. Tech (Water Resources Development)
o M. Tech (Irrigation Management)
o Power Transmission and Distribution

Partial List of Institutions hosting courses
• Centre for Development of Advanced Computing
• Centre for Excellence in Telecom Technology and Management
• Barefoot College
• Solar Energy Centre
• Centre for Wind Energy Technology
• Indian Institute of Science
• Alternate Hydro Energy Centre
• National Institute of Rural Development
• National Institute of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises
• Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
• Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
Please describe the roles, responsibilities, interests and interrelations of the involved stakeholders.

The Government of India funds the participants' course fees, travel, accommodation, and provides a modest stipend. "Nodal" Government Departments/Agencies from ITEC partner countries nominate candidates. Applicants must have appropriate academic qualifications (depending on the institution/programme to which they are applying) and a minimum of 5 years of work experience.


Did the relation between the providing and receiving countries / governments / organizations change with this experience? Why and how?

The sustained increase in demand from partner countries to nominate participants in the ITEC Programme is an indication of the perceived value of the training.

What were the planned and unplanned achievements of the SSC experience?

Planned achievements of the ITEC Programme include training thousands of individuals. Unplanned achievements include the innovations and contributions individuals are able to make upon their return to the workforce in their respective country as a result of the training.

Are these outcomes sustainable? Could they be replicated in similar contexts?

Human capital accumulation is widely considered one of the central elements of economic development. Building capacity within developing countries by training laborers in vital fields (i.e. IT, renewable energy, etc.) is sustainable in two ways: 1) it facilitates long-term growth and 2) it supports environmental sustainability.


For longer-term projects, could you describe (both positive and negative) impacts?

A potential problem facing the evolution of the ITEC Programme is that it may become overly strategic in nature (like most bilateral aid).

Aid Effectiveness

How can this experience help to understand the possible synergies between SSC and aid effectiveness principles? The most important comparative advantage of the ITEC Programme is value. There are two main reasons contributing to the cost-effectiveness of the ITEC Programme 1) there is very little overhead and 2) the cost of services (education) is less than that of developed countries. Therefore, development assistance (i.e. funding) is able to go further than if a similar programme were administered by a developed country. A high percentage of ITEC's expenses go to actual delivery (i.e. course fees, transportation, accommodation, etc.) rather than expensive overhead (as is often the case with North-South development cooperation) contributing to capacity building.

The ITEC Programme is also an example of an inclusive partnership between a middle-income developing country and the least developing countries (Accra). Furthermore, as a middle income country, India is in the position to provide expertise in technology and other vital fields (that may not be available in the least developed countries, but are needed for sustainable development) and can deliver the services considerably more cost-effectively than developed countries.

Was national leadership and ownership supported?

The ITEC Programme, a division of the Ministry of External Affairs, operates entirely under the Government of India's authority and participants are nominated by the governments (or nodal agencies) of partner countries.

To which extent was the experience aligned to national priorities and systems?

The ITEC Programme is an important part of foreign policy and considered the "flagship programme of the Government of India for extending [its] technical cooperation and assistance to developing countries".

"India has always been a firm adherent of South-South Cooperation and placed a high premium on programmes of cooperation with the developing world. The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme… has played an important role towards this objective…"

"[India has] developed many capacities and capabilities that are critical for development… It has been [India's] endeavor to share [its] experiences and knowledge with fellow developing countries."

"South-South Cooperation is a much broader and deeper concept than traditional North-South aid-driven cooperation. It is a cooperative partnership between developing countries embedded in the sharing of expertise, knowledge, experiences, technology, and provision of assistance based on one's national capacities and as an expression of solidarity and mutual cooperation. It is entirely voluntary in nature and furthers national development priorities with national ownership at its centre."

The ITEC Programme is in line with India's foreign policy strategy to engage other developing countries

Has there been an effort to harmonize and coordinate with other programmes and development actors?

The effort to harmonize with other development actors is limited to offering ITEC courses at institutions in India working in development.

Was managing for results included in the experience?

No – very little is known about the impact the ITEC programme is having in partner countries.

Capacity Development

Describe any specific capacity development benefits from this SSC activity at the individual, organizational or systemic level.

The ITEC Programme addresses gaps in human development through capacity development by training and empowering individuals in various useful, high-skill fields. While concessional loans (and other forms of aid) often provide short-term solutions (and can often create a cycle of dependency) , developing human capacity lasts a lifetime and contributes effectively to sustainable growth.

The ITEC Programme enhances skills and builds capacity at the individual level (directly) and the organizational/national level (indirectly).



Budget (Optional)

Approximately $11 million annually (100% Government of India-funded)

Name of Primary Contact Person

Michael Dickerson

Title of Primary Contact Person



New Delhi, India