Development, NGOs, and Civil Society

Edited by: 
Eade, Deborah

ImageThe rise of neoliberalism and the so-called Washington Consensus have generated a powerful international agenda of what constitutes good governance, democratisation, and the proper role of the state and civil society in advancing development. As public spending has declined, the NGO sector has massively benefited from taking on a service-delivery role. At the same time, as civil society organisations,, NGOs are a convenient channel through which official agencies can promote political pluralism. But can NGOs play these roles simultaneously? Can they both facilitate governments’ withdrawal from providing basic services for all and also claim to represent the poor and the disenfranchised? Are NGOs legitimate political actors in their own right? Jenny Pearce introduces papers that describe some of the tensions inherent in the roles being played by NGOs, and asks whether they truly stand for anything fundamentally different from the agencies on whose largesse they increasingly depend.

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Deborah Eade

Development, NGOs, and civil society: the debate and its future
Jenny Pearce

Scaling up NGO impact on development: learning from experience
Michael Edwards and David Hulme

Help yourself by helping The Poor
Gino Lofredo

NGOs: ladles in the global soup kitchen?
Stephen Commins

Collaboration with the South: agents of aid or solidarity?
Firoze Manji

Corporate governance for NGOs?
Mick Moore and Sheelagh Stewart

Dancing with the prince: NGOs’ survival strategies in the Afghan conflict
Jonathan Goodhand with Peter Chamberlain

NGOs and the state: a case-study from Uganda
Christy Cannon

NGOs, the poor, and local government
Christopher Collier

Let’s get civil society straight: NGOs, the state, and political theory
Alan Whaites

Depoliticising development: the uses and abuses of participation
Sarah C. White

Birds of a feather? UNDP and ActionAid implementation of Sustainable Human Development
Lilly Nicholls

Strengthening civil society: participatory action research in a militarised state
Amina Mama

Annotated bibliography

© Oxfam GB 2000.
ISBN 0 85598 442 2
All rights reserved.
Available from Stylus Publishing



 ‘The mix of academic and practitioner contributions, and of contributors from the South and the North, means the book is equally useful for development practitioners and policy makers, and for students of development studies.’
Journal of International Development

‘Not only highlights the difficulties in translating theoretical ideas into action, but also suggests that the NGO community has not been able to develop its own theories on most critical issues it faces in development. ... Recommended to anyone interested in the themes of development, NGOs, and civil society in the last decade of the twentieth century when his/her world is witnessing significant change due to the collapse of dominant ideologies.’
PRIO Journal

‘A useful collection with several features to recommend it. In particular, its value rests in its treatment of an extensive range of issues that confront NGDOs as they assume more responsibility for development activities, the inclusion of various recommendations for improving the efficiency and accountability of NGOs (especially for Northern organisations in their interactions with Southern ones), and the balanced combination of the theoretical and practical. Moreover, and importantly, this volume presents the work of a set of highly qualified and experienced scholars and practitioners, whose viewpoints and advice are well worth considering and heeding.’
European Journal of Development Research

‘An admirable attempt to grapple with the thorny issues of NGOs’ roles and responsibilities as they become ever more central players in development. The combination of critical assessments of NGOs’ practice and serious analysis of what might constitute ‘civil society’is invaluable. These are the tough questions which are often ducked and which Development, NGOs and Civil Society tackles with vigour.’
- Marcela López Levy, Latin America Bureau

NGOs and Civil Society demands attention for three reasons ... valuable recent historical perspective ... diversity of view and authors contained within it, with a suitable mix of academics and practitioners, Northerners and Southerners and men and women ... [T]he well-informed, critical tone of most of the papers is the third strength of this collection. This book will be useful for practitioners seeking to make sense of a complex subject, as well as for teachers and students looking for a good, topical introduction to the subject. There is a comprehensive annotated bibliography included for further exploration of many of the issues.’
– David Lewis, Community Development Journal

‘An excellent overview of some of the key issues confronting civil society as the development industry enters the 21st Century, echoing the critical rigor that I have come to expect from Development in Practice. I will certainly recommend it to colleagues as an excellent critical reader, and I will pass this recommendation along to colleagues teaching development-related classes in universities here in the States.’
– Scott Chaplowe, Development Consultant