This paper, using field work carried out in Eritrea, will examine ways of promoting “ownership” resulting from the adaptation of a project originally developed outside the host country. The author will argue that while project organisers will probably encounter basic problems concerning local competence, the stress must, above all, fall on an awareness of what Holliday has termed “intercompetence”, “an intermediate stage in behavioural competence which occurs during confrontation with a new culture” (Holliday, 1994: p. 223). The author believes that more effort should be dedicated to ways of adapting ELT material produced in one developing country in order to enable use in another. Just as there are situations in which context-specificity and differing needs clearly preclude adaptation and transplantation within the developing world, so are there cases in which context and needs resemble one another to an extent suggesting that adaptation may be worthwhile. In countries which lack the resources to fund improvements in teacher training and/or the trainer expertise required to provide such development, the use of materials already existing elsewhere provides a low-cost alternative, and one able to offset local skills-shortfalls.