This article examines the ways in which development aid is conceived and represented.

It presents the initial concept of technical assistance, and describes how it has shifted to include a more equal and interactive relationship between the giver and receiver in what is known as technical 'cooperation'.

The author also discusses the recent influence that knowledge management and innovation systems concepts have had on development assistance discourse and practice.

He adds that another shift is needed to incorporate situations where technology transfer stakeholders can jointly create knowledge, moving from a 'learning from' environment to a 'learning with' one.