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The many faces of the aid industry-civil society relationship : northern field presence in the south

Document type: report
Download file(s): 145152 (36 KB)
Abstract: Over the last years, PSO noticed an increase in Dutch development agencies, establishing field presence in the South. PSO’s main focus is strengthening civil society in the South by further developing the capacity of civil society organizations. The obvious question therefore was: What does this increased Northern presence mean for the capacity of civil society? Does it strengthen civil society in one way or another? Is it neutral or does it erode local capacity? If an organization on the basis of institutional imperatives (in order to be more efficient, or to survive) should move south a rule of thumb is: Also take into account development imperatives! This means to start with: (1) do not enter into competition for funds with local organisations; (2) do transfer as many decision making powers as possible to local partners; (3) support local organisations, use your own available capacity to strengthen them, move them to the forefront, even when it is about accessing local EU and other funds; and (4) limit your numerical presence to limit power assymetries and keep similar wage levels to avoid brain-drain. Back donors such as the EU but also the Dutch Government should devise their funding policy in such a way that development imperatives prevail: strengthen local capacity and provide space for local actors without putting them in the junior position.
Authors: Tandon, R. , Tam, M.
Category: Policy
Keywords: development policy , non-governmental organizations , capacity building
Language: eng
Organization: PSO - Capacity Building in Developing Countries
Place: [The Hague]
Publisher: PSO
Year: 2008
Right: © 2008 PSO
Subject: Development Cooperation General
Title: The many faces of the aid industry-civil society relationship : northern field presence in the south