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The Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) was launched in 1976 and is a part of FAO's Regular Programme, financed from the assessed contributions of its Members.

The Programme aims to provide FAO's technical expertise to its Member countries through targeted, short term, catalytic projects. These projects address technical problems in the field of agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural livelihood that prevent Member countries, either individually or collectively, from implementing their development programmes. The TCP may be used in all areas of action that pertain to FAO’s mandate and competence and which are covered by the Organization’s Strategic Framework. 

TCP projects should produce tangible and immediate results in a cost-effective manner. They support improved food security and poverty alleviation, and should catalyse long-term development changes.

The TCP is one of FAO's tools for contributing to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals and particularly the goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.

Since its creation in 1976, the TCP has funded projects worth more than US$ 1.3 billion as at 31 December 2009.
Up to December 2009, the TCP was managed by the FAO's Technical Cooperation (TC) Department and coordinated by the TCP Service (TCOT). In January 2010, a large share of the responsibility for TCP management was transferred from the FAO’s headquarters to the FAO’s decentralized offices. Thus, the responsibilities for the tasks of the decentralized TCP process are shared among the Technical Cooperation (TC) Department, FAO's Regional, Subregional and Country Offices (for more information see the FAQ section of this Web site). However, the responsibility for the corporate management and oversight of the TCP rests with the TC Department and the decentralized offices are accountable to the TC Department for all issues related to the TCP.

The decentralized TCP is supported by the TCP Team composed of staff located in FAO's headquarters within the Policy and Programme Development Support Division (TCS) and staff located in each of the Regional Offices.

In addition, the TCP Team in FAO’s headquarters manages the Edouard Saouma Award conferred to  national or regional institutions which have implemented with particular efficiency a project funded by the TCP

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