You are here


Greater than 90% of the literature suggests that conventional donor project models lack effectiveness.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 24

'Teach a Man to Fish': The Sustainability Doctrine and Its Social Consequences

Author: Swidler, Ann and Susan Cotts Watkins

An analysis of the social consequences of the commitment to ''sustainability" in donor-funded AIDS programs. Using survey, interview, and ethnographic data from rural Malawi, the authors examine how efforts to mobilize and empower local communities affect three strata of Malawian society: 1) the villagers whom these programs are meant to help, 2) the insecure local elites whose efforts directly link programs to their intended beneficiaries, and more briefly, 3) the national elites who implement AIDS policies and programs.

July, 2009

A Conceptual Framework for Institutional Sustainability

Author: UMD, USDA, & USAID

One piece of a larger effort to address the problem of development sustainability, sponsored by USAID's Office of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Asia/Near East Bureau (ANE). Earlier work approached sustainability inductively, reviewing relevant literature and field cases to derive a set of premises and recommendations. This paper attempts to elaborate deductively a theoretical framework that subsumes the earlier work within an integrated model that extends beyond simply systematizing existing practice.

July, 1988

Beyond the Dotted Line

Author: Mowles, Chris

Systems thinking is very common among European NGOs, but it often covers over the complexity of context, power relations and local knowledge. The author gives an example of how taking a systems approach overlooked local initiatives, and thus made it difficult for local people to engage in genuine partnerships with European NGO staff.

October, 2010

Building Institutional Capacity to Increase Food Security in Africa

Author: Food Security Collaborative

This paper was written to stimulate discussion about the organizational dimension of food security, with particular emphasis on organizational capacity building. While the paper includes a conceptual framework, it is written from a practitioner's perspective and seeks to provide a ground-level view of the organizational landscape and the way forward. 

April, 2012

Constituency Voice Assessment Framework 1.0

Author: Keystone Accountability
Constituent Voice (CV) is a methodololgy developed by Keystone Accountability to enable organizations to improve results by optimizing their relationships with their constituents. The framework sets out five indicators for assessing the strength of CV at the organization and program levels.
July, 2009

Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa

Author: Moyo, Dambisa

Provocatively drawing a sharp contrast between African countries that have rejected the aid route and prospered and others that have become aid-dependent and seen poverty increase, Moyo illuminates the way in which over reliance on aid has trapped developing nations in a vicious circle of aid dependency, corruption, market distortion, and further poverty, leaving them with nothing but the "need" for more aid.

March, 2009

Despite Good Intentions: Why Development Assistance to the Third World Has Failed

Author: Dichter, Thomas W.

In this book, Thomas Dichter, an insider with more than 35 years' experience, offers a critique of what he terms the "international poverty alleviation industry." He argues that efforts to reduce world poverty have been well-intentioned but largely ineffective. And that, on the whole, the development industry has failed to serve the needs of the people it has sought to help. To make his case, Dichter reviews the major trends in development assistance from the 1960s through the 1990s, illustrating his analysis with eighteen short stories based on his own experiences in the field.

Doing Development Differently: Rituals of Hope and Despair in an International NGO

Author: Crewe, Emma

Through an anthropological lens, using examples from working in an international NGO, the author explores the gaps between development rhetoric and practices, suggesting that people both contest and collude with bureacucratic systems of rule.

Foreign Aid: Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics

Author: Lancaster, Carol

A twentieth-century innovation, foreign aid has become a familiar and even expected element in international relations. But scholars and government officials continue to debate why countries provide it: some claim it is primarily a tool of diplomacy, others argue that it is largely intended to support development in poor countries, and still others point out myriad other uses. The author effectively puts this dispute to rest by providing the most comprehensive answer yet to the question of why governments give foreign aid.

December, 2006

Grantmaker on the Receiving End

Author: Hobson, Sarah

It's not often that funders expose themselves to a review of their own performance by their grantees. In the funding world, standard practice is for grantmakers to require performance and outcome evaluation by those receiving the money, not the other way round. Thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation, International Development Exchange (IDEX) had the chance to turn standard practice upside down.

December, 2003