Over six billion dollars in developmental assistance is funneled annually through non-governmental organizations (NGOs), yet little is understood about the nature of their relationship with communities and the real impact of their work. This book examines what role NGOs really play in fighting poverty in Latin America. Expert NGO professionals and scholars explore grass-roots relationships between international religious and secular NGOs and poor communities. They probe the power structures, cultural assumptions, dangers and possibilities that underlie NGOs' work. While fighting poverty is the mission of many NGOs, most are aware that they often fail to make things better, and, in fact, may make things worse. By providing a forum for Northern and Southern NGOs, donors, scholars, and poor people themselves, this book explores the causes and cures of poverty, and presses at the boundaries of our understanding of participatory development. It identifies both internal and external factors that influence the success of NGO projects, and moves beyond standard best-practice theory to probe more deeply the relationships that underlie poverty and how these relationships can be shifted to achieve solutions.
Introduction: Here to Help: NGO Meets Community - and What Happens Next? Robyn Eversole 1. Smallholder Agriculture and Poverty Alleviation in Indigenous Communities, James Keese 2. Making a Statement or Finding a Role: British NGOs in Latin America, Jean Grugel 3. Perceptions: NGOs in a Context of Socio-Economic Change, Argentina at the End of the 90s, Patricia Feliu 4. Visions of Development: Catholic NGOs and Indigenous Communities in Northwestern Argentina, Laurie Occhipinti 5. Market Articulation and Poverty Eradication? Critical Reflection on Tourist-Oriented Craft Production in Amazonian Ecuador, Patrick C. Wilson 6. Women, Microenterprise Development, and Poverty in Bolivia, Ana Mayta 7. The Transformation Side of Microenterprise: The Case of the Opportunity International Program in Honduras, Makonen Getu 8. "Awakening:" Campesino Families, Development Institutions, and the Process of Socio-Economic Change, Ana Mara Condori 9. NGOs and Ecotourism in Ecuador's Amazon, Frank Hutchins 10. Disencumbering Development: Alleviating Poverty Through Autonomy in Chiapas, Jeanne Simonelli and Duncan Earle