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Support Organizations and the Evolution of the NGO Sector

Author: Brown, L. David and Archana Kalegaonkar

"This article focuses on the emergence of support organizations that play strategic roles in the evolution of development non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as a sector of civil society. We begin with a discussion of sector challenges from outside (such as public legitimacy, relations with governments, relations with businesses, and relations with international actors) and from inside (amateurism, restricted focus, material scarcity, fragmentation, and paternalism).

June, 2002

Ten Year Report: Acumen Fund

The Acumen Fund is a global venture capital firm with a dual purpose: it looks for a return on its investments and also seeks entrepreneurial solutions to global poverty. Beginning in 2001, the Fund focused on investing in social entrepreneurs and big ideas--they call it 'Patient Capital'.

September, 2011

Thanks for Asking: The Power of Appreciative Inquiry

Author: De Smet, Aaron and Johanne Lavoie
August, 2014

The Aid Chain: Coercion and Commitment in Development NGOs

Author: Wallace, Tina with Lisa Bornstein and Jennifer Chapman

Reviewer David Sogge writes that "This study's main questions concern the consequences for organizations lower on aid chains as they respond to conditions set by those higher on aid chains. In particular, what happens to African NGOs and their relationships with the people they are supposed to be helping? ...However, the study's chief concerns, and freshest insights, are in revealing how donor power shapes NGO relationships, structures and methods.

September, 2007

The Anti-Politics Machine: 'Development' and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho

Author: Ferguson, James

"Development" projects in Lesotho have consistently failed to achieve their stated objectives, not least because they are based on a "construction" of the country that bears little relation to prevailing realities. They do, however, succeed in expanding the field of bureaucratic state power in people's everyday lives. Recognition that this often unintended consequence of "development" is its main achievement argues for a new politics of opposition.

October, 1994

The Busan Partnership: Implications for Civil Society

Author: Hayman, Rachel

"On 1 December 2011, the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation 1 was adopted at the end of the 4th High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Busan, South Korea. This Partnership opened a new chapter in a process which began almost a decade earlier to address falling levels of aid and widespread weaknesses in the aid system. In contrast to its predecessors, the Partnership was negotiated with strong input from developing countries, from new donors, and from civil society. It represents a welcome break from an agenda dictated by a few large OECD donors.

February, 2012

The Evolutionary Life Cycles of Non-Governmental Development Organizations

Author: Avina, Jeffrey

This article argues that non-governmental organizations active in community development exhibit different organizational characteristics at different phases of their evolution. The ability to recognize these characteristics better positions one to understand the nature of an NGO's relationship with donors, beneficiaries and the world around it. In addition, these insights will help the practitioner understand the types of problems the NGO may be facing, their cause and the range of possible solutions.

December, 1993

The Family Independence Initiative: A New Approach to Help Families Exit Poverty

Author: Stuhldreher, Anne and Rourke O'Brien

The authors argue that America's "safety net programs are in a double bind. Demand for them is spiking. At the same time, government officials at the federal, state, and local levels are facing a fiscal crisis, moving to curtail spending on many social programs in the face of a weakened economy and reduced tax revenues." Given the competing pressures of increased demand and depleted resources, they describe the Family Independence Initiative (FII) as a way to reimagine how to support struggling families.


February, 2011

The Help Commission on Foreign Assistance Reform

Author: Bush, Mary K.

The U.S. Commission on Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People Around the Globe report to the Secretary of State and Members of Congress.

December, 2007