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"They Are Welcome to Join" - A study on participation in the cooperation between donor and recepient organisations in development work in Kenya

Eriksson, Petter (2015) SIMV24 20151
Department of Human Geography
Master of Science in Development Studies
Graduate School
Abstract (Swedish)
Participation is one of the most important concepts in current development debate, both in theory and practice. It is also a contested topic and it has been argued that despite well expressed intentions, problems that for long have been connected to development are not solved through participation. Despite participation being suggested as the „new development era‟ many development theorists argue that imbalanced power structures, top down rule and poor understanding and consideration of local context are still present in the field. Some has even argued that participation is a form of new tyranny. In this master thesis, the concept of participation is investigated. By interviewing representatives of four small Ngo: s in Nairobi, Kenya,... (More)
Participation is one of the most important concepts in current development debate, both in theory and practice. It is also a contested topic and it has been argued that despite well expressed intentions, problems that for long have been connected to development are not solved through participation. Despite participation being suggested as the „new development era‟ many development theorists argue that imbalanced power structures, top down rule and poor understanding and consideration of local context are still present in the field. Some has even argued that participation is a form of new tyranny. In this master thesis, the concept of participation is investigated. By interviewing representatives of four small Ngo: s in Nairobi, Kenya, co-operating with international donor organizations, participation is investigated through a local perspective. The study shows that high levels of participation is indeed an important factor and helps to make development work more sustainable and more efficient. However, the organizations in the study shows that genuine levels of participation are not reached - reality descriptions, problem formulations, project designs and evaluations are too often still controlled by the donor. The “local knowledge” that is described in development literature and in development policies as crucial for the success of development projects, is not utilized. Based on the findings of the study with support in participation theory, it is possible to say that participation is indeed an important concept and the right way forward for development work, but it is too seldom used. The study also suggests that concept of participation would be well off to change the perspective on who should be the participating actor. Drawn on ideas from the respondents – as is illustrated in the title - maybe it would be useful to encourage donor organisation to participate in the local organisation and not the opposite as is the common understanding in today´s development discourse. (Less)
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author
Eriksson, Petter
supervisor
organization
course
SIMV24 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Participation, NGO: s, development co-operation
language
English
id
7369860
date added to LUP
2015-06-18 08:48:37
date last changed
2015-12-14 13:34:52
@misc{7369860,
  abstract     = {Participation is one of the most important concepts in current development debate, both in theory and practice. It is also a contested topic and it has been argued that despite well expressed intentions, problems that for long have been connected to development are not solved through participation. Despite participation being suggested as the „new development era‟ many development theorists argue that imbalanced power structures, top down rule and poor understanding and consideration of local context are still present in the field. Some has even argued that participation is a form of new tyranny. In this master thesis, the concept of participation is investigated. By interviewing representatives of four small Ngo: s in Nairobi, Kenya, co-operating with international donor organizations, participation is investigated through a local perspective. The study shows that high levels of participation is indeed an important factor and helps to make development work more sustainable and more efficient. However, the organizations in the study shows that genuine levels of participation are not reached - reality descriptions, problem formulations, project designs and evaluations are too often still controlled by the donor. The “local knowledge” that is described in development literature and in development policies as crucial for the success of development projects, is not utilized. Based on the findings of the study with support in participation theory, it is possible to say that participation is indeed an important concept and the right way forward for development work, but it is too seldom used. The study also suggests that concept of participation would be well off to change the perspective on who should be the participating actor. Drawn on ideas from the respondents – as is illustrated in the title - maybe it would be useful to encourage donor organisation to participate in the local organisation and not the opposite as is the common understanding in today´s development discourse.},
  author       = {Eriksson, Petter},
  keyword      = {Participation,NGO: s,development co-operation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {"They Are Welcome to Join" - A study on participation in the cooperation between donor and recepient organisations in development work in Kenya},
  year         = {2015},
}