The emergence of a fourth pillar in development aid

Development cooperation has traditionally been the playing field of governments, multilateral institutions, and established development NGOs. In the last decade however, other actors in Northern countries (such as businesses, migrants’ organisations, professional groups, and schools) have shown active interest in development-related activities Although they do not belong to the epistemic community of development specialists and are often overlooked in the discourse and literature on development cooperation, their number and importance are growing. These novel approaches to development cooperation give rise to some important reflections about their methodologies, potential impact, and fundraising. Based on the authors’ experiences and research in Belgium, the article raises some issues about what they term the fourth pillar of development cooperation with the aim of stimulating the academic and policy-oriented debate