'Listening to the rice grow': the local-expat interface in Lao-based international NGOs

Generally speaking, NGO studies have focused their attention on the organisational unit and its role in shaping development outcomes. With few exceptions, the analysis of development partnerships, in which NGOs play a crucial role, has largely been confined to examination of 'donors' and 'receivers' and not the dynamics within organisational settings. This article is concerned with the interface between local and international staff operating within Lao-based international NGOs. The research relied on interviews with local and international staff and sought to examine how staff themselves interpreted the process of 'localisation' in the context of their own professional experience.