I have a discovered a great Report from the EU Court of Auditors on Technical Cooperation (2007) here and recommendations which very much fit the drift of my arguments.
Recommendation 3; Design of capacity development projects should be improved, by facilitating effective ownership and leadership of the national part of the process, by better defining specific capacity development objectives and related technical assistance requirements, by avoiding overly complex implementation structures, by being more realistic in terms of objectives to be achieved and by planning longer implementation periods.
Recommendation 4; The procedures governing the project preparation and start-up phase, including the procurement of technical assistance, should be reviewed, in order to create more time for implementation, and more flexibility should be allowed during the inception phase to adjust the project design and/or the Terms of Reference for the technical assistance to changes in circumstances.
Recommendation 5; The evaluation criteria in technical assistance tenders should be reviewed, in order to better reflect the quality and previous experience of the experts and the consultancy company.
Recommendation 6; More options should be considered regarding procurement possibilities to allow the best possible choice of technical expertise, including expertise from public institutions and expertise available in the beneficiary country or the region.
Recommendation 7; The Commission should increase its use of technical assistance through coordinated programmes and apply, where possible, implementation arrangements which encourage local ownership.
Recommendation 8; Technical assistance performance by companies and experts should be assessed systematically and a management information system for recording, reporting and consulting this performance should be developed.
And I now remember the EC's Backbone strategy of July 2008 which followed that report