1st Edition

Reimagining Civil Society Collaborations in Development Starting from the South

    364 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    364 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    At a time when uneven power dynamics are high on development actors’ agenda, this book will be an important contribution to researchers and practitioners working on innovation in development and civil society.

    While there is much discussion of localization, decolonization and ‘shifting power’ in civil society collaborations in development, the debate thus far centers on the aid system. This book directs attention to CSOs as drivers of development in various contexts that we refer to as the Global South. This book take a transformative stance, reimagining roles, relations and processes. It does so from five complementary angles: (1) Southern CSOs reclaiming the lead, 2) displacement of the North–South dyad, (3) Southern-centred questions, (4) new roles for Northern actors, and (5) new starting points for collaboration. The book relativizes international collaboration, asking INGOs, Northern CSOs, and their donors to follow Southern CSOs’ leads, recognizing their contextually geared perspectives, agendas, resources, capacities, and ways of working. Based in 19 empirically grounded chapters, the book also offers an agenda for further research, design, and experimentation.

    Emphasizing the need to ‘Start from the South’ this book thus re-imagines and re-centers Civil Society collaborations in development, offering Southern-centred ways of understanding and developing relations, roles, and processes, in theory and practice.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. Funded by Wageningen University.

    1 Introduction: Towards reimagining civil society collaborations in development Margit van Wessel, Tiina Kontinen and Justice Nyigmah Bawole 2 Conceptual foundations: Reimagining roles, relations, and processes Margit van Wessel and Tiina Kontinen PART 1 Reclaiming the lead 3 Reflections on using a community-led research and action (CLRA) methodology to explore alternatives in international development Lise Woensdregt, Kibui Edwin Rwigi and Naomi van Stapele 4 Reimagining development from local voices and positions – Southern feminist movements in the lead Njeri Kimotho, Catherine Odenyo-Ndekera and Janna Visser 5 Building resilient communities by growing community assets, capacities, and trust Stella Wanjiru Chege 6 Contesting practices of aid localization in Jordan and Lebanon: Civil society organizations’ mobilization of local knowledge Elena Aoun, Lyla André and Alena Sander PART 2 Displacing the North–South dyad 7 Southern civil society organizations as practical hybrids: Dealing with legitimacy in a Ugandan gender advocacy organization Tiina Kontinen and Alice N. Ndidde 8 Beyond the North–South dyad: Diaspora-led organizations in development collaborations Susan Appe 9 Exploring mutual dependence through non-financial resource exchanges: A Tanzanian non-governmental organization network case study Sandy Zook, Samantha Temple and Emmanuel Malisa PART 3 Asking Southern-centred questions 10 Advocating for land rights in Kenya: A community-based organization’s attempt to reconcile external funding with local legitimacy Selma Zijlstra and Marja Spierenburg 11 Surreptitious symbiosis in promoting advocacy? Collaboration among non-governmental organizations, social movements, and activists in West Africa Emmanuel Kumi and Albert Arhin 12 Moving beyond (en)forced North–South collaboration for development: Possibilities from Pakistan Themrise Khan 13 Shifting the narrative: Localization and ‘shift the power’ in the African context Emmanuel Kumi, Thomas Yeboah, Nancy Kankam Kusi, Jimm Chick Fomunjong and Charles Kojo Vandyck 14 Contrasting gifting postures in a local Ghanaian community: Are there lessons about African philanthropy? Esi Eduafowa Sey and Justice Nyigmah Bawole PART 4 Learning new roles for the North 15 Localizing humanitarian knowledge management: A call for pragmatic robust action Femke Mulder 16 The journey to Southern leadership in programming: The story of a decade-long Ghanaian–Dutch partnership Mohammed Awal Alhassan and Marijke Priester 17 Starting advocacy programmes from the South: Rethinking multi-country programming Margit van Wessel PART 5 Choosing new starting points for collaboration 18 A feminist approach to collaboration: A sex workers’ network in India B. Rajeshwari, Margit van Wessel and Nandini Deo 19 Practising organizational autonomy at the community level: Evidence from advocacy projects in Uganda and Vietnam Lena Gutheil 20 Beyond the North–South dichotomy: A case study on tackling global problems starting from the South Runa Khan, Dorothee ter Kulve and Sarah Haaij 21 Shift the power? Constraints and enablers of more equitable partnerships between non-governmental organizations: The case of Dutch small-scale development initiatives in Uganda and India Sara Kinsbergen, Mieke Molthof, Linda van der Hoek and Anna Vellinga 22 Conclusions Margit van Wessel, Tiina Kontinen and Justice Nyigmah Bawole


    Margit van Wessel is Associate Professor at the Centre for Integrative Development, Department of Communication, Technology and Philosophy at Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands.

    Tiina Kontinen is Associate Professor for International Development Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

    Justice Nyigmah Bawole is Professor of Public Administration and Management, and Dean, at the University of Ghana Business School.

    "This book takes a wonderful approach. Long decades of debate and reform of development cooperation have shown that usually the discussion continues to take the international aid system as its point of departure. This book decentres international efforts by focusing on civil society in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, to understand how they reshape and wish to further reshape international collaboration for development, and what implications this has for roles, relations and processes of development."

    Dorothea Hilhorst, Professor of humanitarian studies at the International Institute for Social Studies of Erasmus University in The Hague, The Netherlands

    "This timely book enters the fray at a time when the world is struggling to tackle the multiple and overlapping crises that the current system is generating. What do we learn by starting our inquiries with marginalised views, voices and expertise emanating from the Global South? All the authors in this volume invite us to re-imagine how we ‘know’ the world, which is the first step to tackling these persistent global challenges."

    Lata Narayanaswamy, Associate Professor in the Politics of Global Development, University of Leeds, UK 

    "This excellent book is the most comprehensive resource on how collaboration with civil society organisations in the Global South can be reimagined. Virtually every debate taking place in the sector right now is captured in this book, with the authors pointing not only to the dysfunctions in the current system but also pointing to examples of what collaboration could look like, starting from the South. It is impressive in its breadth of analysis, but it is also eminently practical, and is infused with a warmth, humanity and imagination about what could be. Every policymaker, student and practitioner focusing on international development, humanitarian intervention and peacebuilding should read this vital, timely book."

    Dylan Mathews, CEO, Peace Direct. Chair, CIVICUS.

    "‘Localization’ of aid, when you think about it, is actually quite an outsider’s word. It suggests taking the assets currently held in the North (money, knowledge, power) and somehow transferring them to the South. The value of this book, edited By Margit van WesselTiina KontinenJustice Nyigmah Bawole is captured in the subtitle. It discards that idea and asks how CSOs in the South collaborate, both with each other and with funders (both local and international) and what can be learned. In the jargon, it focusses on the existing ‘agency’ of local and national organizations – I’m increasingly drawn to these kinds of ‘asset-based’ rather than ‘deficit-based’ approaches. [...] In terms of the ‘so-whats?’ for outsiders the basic message is that we should be asking ‘How Can We Help?’ and be led by listening hard to the responses to that question from their partners. Is it money? Technical support? International networking? Something we haven’t even thought of? And that may include questioning the word ‘partners’ – ‘the book aims to counteract the bias of seeing Southern CSOs mainly as ‘partners’, viewing them instead as organizations and groups in their own right, embedded in the social and political contexts from which they emerged and in which they navigate.’ Bravo." 

    Duncan Green, From Poverty to Power