NGOs, Civil Society, and Development

Chapter
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS, volume 20)

Abstract

Civil society in Africa has been shaped by a number of developments over the recent years, including the incomplete democratic wave that has produced “hybrid” political regimes, ideological and financial imperatives promoted by international donors, and the varied success of different modes of nongovernmental public action. One important implication of these influences has been a tendency to emphasize the developmental rather than the political role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society in Africa, a move that has sharply divided scholarly opinion in terms of civil society’s progressive potential. Whereas NGOs have continued to access large-scale funding, skeptics feel that this has transformed them from functioning as incubators of alternative development ideas into “partners” charged with delivering development programs on behalf of states and donors. For optimists, the idea of partnership is not inherently bad as it could provide opportunities for both the state and the NGOs to collaborate in advancing their agendas around democracy and development. The aim of this chapter is to illuminate these debates further by drawing on the existing literature from sub-Saharan Africa. The chapter suggests that, for NGOs to remain relevant, they will need to reposition themselves—such that rather than locating themselves within the civil society sector, NGOs should instead occupy the space between the state, market, and civil society. The chapter provides practical suggestions on how this can be achieved.

Keywords

Europe Income Expense Arena Nigeria 

References

  1. Banks, N., & Hulme, D. (2012). The role of NGOs and civil society in development and poverty reduction. BWPI working paper 171. Manchester: Brooks World Poverty Institute.Google Scholar
  2. Barr, A., Fafchamps, M., & Owens, T. (2003). Non-governmental organisations in Uganda: A report to the government of Uganda. Oxford: Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford University.Google Scholar
  3. Barr, A., Fafchamps, M., & Owen, T. (2005). The governance of non-governmental organizations in Uganda. World Development, 33, 657–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Batley, R. (2011). Structures and strategies in relationships between non-government service providers and governments. Public Administration and Development, 31, 306–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Batsell, J. (2005). AIDS, politics, and NGOs in Zimbabwe. In A. S. Patterson (Ed.), The African state and the AIDS crisis. Hants: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  6. Bebbington, A. (2005). Donor-NGO relations and representations of livelihood in nongovernmental aid chains. World Development, 33, 937–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bebbington, A., & Hickey, S. (2006). NGOs and civil society. In D. A. Clark (Ed.), The Elgar Companion to Development Studies. Cheltenham: Edward Eldgar.Google Scholar
  8. Bebbington, A. J., Hickey, S., & Mitlin, D. C. (Eds.). (2008). Can NGOs make a difference? The challenge of development alternatives. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  9. Booth, D. (2005). Missing links in the politics of development: Learning from the PRSP experiment. ODI working paper 256. London: Overseas Development Institute.Google Scholar
  10. Boyd, R. (2004). Michael Oakeshott on civility, civil society and civil association. Political Studies, 52, 603–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brass, J. N. (2010). Surrogates for government? NGOs and the state in Kenya. Doctoral dissertation, Political Science, University of California.Google Scholar
  12. Brass, J. N. (2011). Blurring boundaries: The integration of NGOs into governance in Kenya. Governance, 25, 209–235.Google Scholar
  13. Bratton, M. (1989a). Beyond the state: Civil society and associational life in Africa. World Politics, 41, 407–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bratton, M. (1989b). The politics of government-NGO relations in Africa. World Development, 17, 569–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bratton, M. (1994). Civil society and political transition in Africa. IDR Reports Institute for Development Research.Google Scholar
  16. Bratton, M. & van de Walle, N. (1992). Popular protest and political reform in Africa. Comparative Politics, 24, 419–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Brinkerhoff, D. W., & Goldsmith, A. A. (1992). Promoting the sustainability of development institutions: A framework for strategy. World Development, 20, 369–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bukenya, B. (2012). Can NGOs build states and citizenship through service delivery? Evidence from HIV/AIDS programmes in rural Uganda. PhD Development Policy and Management, The University of Manchester.Google Scholar
  19. Burger, R., & Owens, T. (2011). Receive grants or perish? The survival prospects of African nongovernmental organizations. Research Paper No. 11/07. CREDIT Research Paper.Google Scholar
  20. Chabal, P., & Daloz, J.-P. (1999). Africa works: Disorders as political instrument. Oxford: James Currey.Google Scholar
  21. Charlton, R., & May, R. (1995). NGOs, politics, projects and probity: A policy implementation perspective. Third World Quarterly, 16, 237–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cheru, F. (2012). Democracy and people power in Africa: Still searching for the ‘political kingdom’. Third World Quarterly, 33, 265–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Chhotray, V. (2008). Political entrepreneurs or development agents: An NGO’s tale of resistance and acquiescence in Madhya Pradesh, India. In A. J. Bebbington, S. Hickey & D. C. Mitlin (Eds.), Can NGOs make a difference? The challenge of development alternatives. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  24. Choudry, A., & Shragge, E. (2011). Disciplining dissent: NGOs and community organizations. Globalizations, 8, 503–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Clark, J. (1997). The state, popular participation and the voluntary sector. In D. Hulme, & M. Edwards (Eds.), NGOs, state and donors: Too close for comfort? London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  26. Clarke, G. (1998). Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) and politics in the developing world. Political Studies, 46, 36–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Corbridge, S., Williams, G., Srivastava, M., & Veron, R. (2005). Seeing the state: Governance and governmentality in India. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.Google Scholar
  28. Cornwall, A., Robins, S., & Lieres, B. V. (2011). States of citizenship: Contexts and cultures of public engagement and citizen action. IDS working paper 363. Brighton Institute of Development Studies.Google Scholar
  29. Dicklitch, S. (1998). The elusive promise of NGOs in Africa: lessons from Uganda. New York: St. Martin’s Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Dicklitch, S., & Lwanga, D. (2003). The politics of being non-political: Human rights organizations and the creation of a positive human rights culture in Uganda. Human Rights Quarterly, 25, 482–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Dijkstra, G. (2010). The new aid paradigm—a case of policy incoherence. Background paper World Economic and Social Survey 2010.Google Scholar
  32. Driscoll, R., & Evans, A. (2005). Second-Generation poverty reduction strategies: New opportunities and emerging issues. Development Policy Review, 23, 5–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Edwards, M. (2008). Have NGOs ‘Made a difference?’ From Manchester to Birmingham with an Elephant in the room. In A. J. Bebbington, S. Hickey, & D. C. Mitlin (Eds.), Can NGOs make a difference? The challenge of development alternatives. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  34. Edwards, M. (2009). Civil society. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  35. Edwards, M., & Hulme, D. (1995). Beyond the magic bullet? Lessons and conclusions. In D. Hulme, & M. Edwards (Eds.), Non-governmental organisations: Performance and accountability: Beyond the magic bullet. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  36. Ekeh, P. P. (1975). Colonialism and the two publics in Africa: A theoretical statement. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 17, 91–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Elbers, W., & Arts, B. (2011). Keeping body and soul together: Southern NGOs’ strategic responses to donor constraints. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 77, 713–732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Englebert, P. (2002). Born-again Buganda or the limits of traditional resurgence in Africa. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 40, 345–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Fafchamps, M., & Owens, T. (2009). The determinants of funding to Ugandan nongovernmental organizations. The World Bank Economic Review, 23, 295–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Fatton, R. Jr. (1995). Africa in the age of democratization: The civic limitations of civil society. African Studies Review, 38, 67–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ferguson, J. (1990). The anti-politics machine: “Development,” depoliticization, and bureaucratic power in Lesotho. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Fowler, A. (1991). The role of NGOs in changing state-society relations: Perspectives from eastern and southern Africa. Development Policy Review, 9, 53–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Fowler, A. (1993). Non-governmental organizations as agents of democratization: An African perspective. Journal of International Development, 5, 325–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Fowler, A. (2000a). NGDOs as a moment in history: beyond aid to social entrepreneurship or civic innovation? Third World Quarterly, 21, 637–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Fowler, A. (2000b). NGO futures: beyond aid: NGDO values and the fourth position. Third World Quarterly, 21, 589–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Gaventa, J. (2002). Introduction: Exploring citizenship, participation and accountability. IDS Bulletin, 33, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Gaventa, J. (2004). Representation, community leadership and participation: Citizen involvement in neighbourhood renewal and local governance. London: Neighbourhood Renewal Unit Office of Deputy Prime Minister.Google Scholar
  48. Gideon, J. (1998). The politics of social service provision through NGOs: A study of Latin America. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 17, 303–321.Google Scholar
  49. Goetz, A. M., & Gaventa, J. (2001). Bringing citizen voice and client focus into service delivery. IDS Working Paper 138. Institute of Development studies.Google Scholar
  50. Golooba-Mutebi, F. (2005). When popular participation won’t improve service provision: Primary health care in Uganda. Development Policy Review, 23, 165–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Grebe, E., & Nattrass, N. (2009). Leaders, networks and coalitions in the AIDS response: A comparison between Uganda and South Africa. Research Paper 03. Cape Town: The Developmental Leadership Program.Google Scholar
  52. Green, M. (2012). Anticipatory development: Mobilizing civil society in Tanzania. Critique of Anthropology, 32, 309–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Guijt, I. (2008). Civil society participation as the focus of Northern NGO support: The case of Dutch co-financing agencies. In A. Bebbington, S. Hickey, & D. Mitlin (Eds.), Can NGOs make a difference? The challenge of development alternatives. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  54. Hearn, J. (2007). African NGOs: The New Compradors? Development and Change, 38, 1095–1110.Google Scholar
  55. Hickey, S. (2002). Transnational NGDOS and participatory forms of rights-based development: Converging with the local politics of citizenship in Cameroon. Journal of International Development, 14, 841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Hickey, S. (2008). The return of politics in development studies I: Getting lost within the poverty agenda? Progress in Development Studies, 8, 349–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Hickey, S. (2011). Toward a progressive politics of belonging? Insights from a pastoralist. Africa Today, 57, 28–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Hickey, S., & Mohan, G. (2008). The politics of establishing pro-poor accountability: What can poverty reduction strategies achieve? Review of International Political Economy, 15, 234–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Honey, R., & Okafo, S. I. (Eds.). (1998). Hometown associations: Indigenous knowledge and development in Nigeria. London: ITDG Publishing.Google Scholar
  60. Howell, J. (2000). Making civil society from the outside challenges for donors. The European Journal of Development Research, 12, 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Hulme, D. (2008). Reflections on NGOs and development: The elephant, the dinosaur, several tigers but no owl. In A. J. Bebbington, S. Hickey, & D. C. Mitlin (Eds.), Can NGOs make a difference? The challenge of development alternatives. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  62. Hulme, D. & Edwards, M. (Eds.). (1995). Non-governmental organisations: Performance and accountability: Beyond the magic bullet. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  63. Hulme, D. & Edwards, M. (Eds.). (1997). NGOs, states and donors: Too close for comfort? London: MacMillan Press Ltd.Google Scholar
  64. Hyden, G. (1997). Civil society, social capital, and development: Dissection of a complex discourse. Studies in Comparative International Development, 32(1), 3–30.Google Scholar
  65. Hyden, G., Court, J., & Mease, K. (2003). Civil society and governance in 16 developing countries. Overseas Development Institute.Google Scholar
  66. Kabeer, N., Mahmud, S. & Isaza Castro, J. G. (2012). NGOs and the political empowerment of poor people in rural Bangladesh: Cultivating the habits of democracy? World Development, 40, 2044–2062.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Karlström, M. (1999). Civil society and its presuppositions: lessons from Uganda. In J. L. Comaroff, & J. Comaroff (Eds.), Civil society and the political imagination in Africa: Critical perspectives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  68. Kasfir, N. (1998a). Civil society, the state and democracy in Africa. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 36, 123–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Kasfir, N. (1998b). The conventional notion of civil society: A critique. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 36, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Komivesa, K., & Dijkstra, G. (2011). The legacy of the poverty reduction strategy processes in Latin America: Introduction and overview. European Journal of Development Research, 23, 181–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Korten, D. C. (1987). Third generation NGO strategies: A key to people-centered development. World Development, 15, 145–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Lavalle, A. G., Acharya, A., & Houtzager, P. P. (2005). Beyond comparative anecdotalism: Lessons on civil society and participation from Sao Paulo, Brazil. World Development, 33, 951–964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Leonard, K. L. (2002). When both states and markets fail: Asymmetric information and the role of NGOs in African health care. International Review of Law and Economics, 22, 61–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Lewis, D., & Kanji, N. (2009). Non-governmental organizations and development. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  75. Lewis, P. M. (1992). Political transition and the dilemma of civil society in Africa. Journal of International Affairs, 46, 31.Google Scholar
  76. Lister, S., & Nyamugasira, W. (2003). Design contradictions in the ‘New Architecture of Aid’? Reflections from Uganda on the roles of civil society organisations. Development Policy Review, 21, 93–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Manji, F. & Coill, C. (2002). The missionary position: NGOs and development in Africa. International Affairs, 78, 567–583.Google Scholar
  78. Marcussen, H. S. (1996). NGOs, the state and civil society. Review of African Political Economy, 23, 405–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Mercer, C. (2002). NGOs, civil society and democratization: A critical review of the literature. Progress in Development Studies, 2, 5–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Michael, S. (2004). Undermining development: The absence of power among local NGOs in Africa. Oxford, James Currey Publishers.Google Scholar
  81. Miraftab, F. (1997). Flirting with the enemy: Challenges faced by NGOs in development and empowerment. Habitat International, 21, 361–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Mitlin, D. (2008). With and beyond the state—co-production as a route to political influence, power and transformation for grassroots organizations. Environment and Urbanization, 20, 339–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Mitlin, D., & Bebbington, A. (2006). Social movements and chronic poverty across the urban-rural divide: concepts and experiences. CPRC working paper 65. Manchester: Chronic Poverty Research Centre.Google Scholar
  84. Mohan, G. (2002). The disappointments of civil society: The politics of NGO intervention in northern Ghana. Political Geography, 21, 125–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Mueller-Hirth, N. (2009). South African NGOs and the public sphere: Between popular movements and partnerships for development. Social Dynamics, 35, 423–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Ndegwa, S. N. (1997). Citizenship and ethnicity: An examination of two transition moments in Kenyan politics. The American Political Science Review, 91, 599–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Obadare, E. (2009). The uses of ridicule: Humour, ‘infrapolitics’ and civil society in Nigeria. African Affairs, 108, 241–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Obadare, E. (2011). Revalorizing the political: Towards a new intellectual agenda for African civil society discourse. Journal of Civil Society, 7, 427–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Okello, D. (2010). The dynamics of political change and transition: Civil society, governance and the culture of politics in Kenya. In V. Coelho, & B. V. Lieres (Eds.), Mobilizing for democracy: Citizen action and the politics of public participation. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  90. Oloka-Onyango, J., & Barya, J. J. (1997). Civil society and the political economy of foreign aid in Uganda. Democratization, 4, 113–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Orvis, S. (2001). Civil society in Africa or African civil society? Journal of Asian and African Studies, 36, 17–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Osaghae, E. (2006a). Colonialism and civil society in Africa: The perspective of Ekeh’s two publics. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 17, 233–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Osaghae, E. E. (2006b). Ethnicity and the state in Africa. Working paper series No. 7. Afrasian Centre for Peace and Development Studies.Google Scholar
  94. Page, B. E. N., Mercer, C., & Evans, M. (2009). Introduction: African transnationalisms and diaspora networks. Global Networks, 9, 137–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Porter, G. (2003). NGOs and poverty reduction in a globalizing world: Perspectives from Ghana. Progress in Development Studies, 3, 131–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Posner, D. N. (2004). Civil society and the reconstruction of failed states. In R. I. Rotberg (Ed.) When states fail: Causes and consequences. Princeton: Princeton.Google Scholar
  97. Putnam, R. (1993). Making democracy work: Civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  98. Rauh, K. (2010). NGOs, Foreign donors, and organizational processes: Passive NGO recipients or strategic actors? McGill Sociological Review, 1, 29–45.Google Scholar
  99. Ringold, D., Holla, A., Koziol, M., & Srinivasan, S. (2012). Citizens and service delivery: Assessing the use of social accountability approaches in human development. Washington D.C: World Bank.Google Scholar
  100. Robins, S., Cornwall, A. & von Lieres, B. (2008). Rethinking ‘citizenship’ in the postcolony. Third World Quarterly, 29, 1069–1086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Satterthwaite, D. (2008). Editorial: The social and political basis for citizen action on urban poverty reduction. Environment and Urbanization, 20, 307–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Scott, J. (1985). Weapons of the weak: Everyday forms of peasant resistance. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  103. Smith, D. J. (2010). Corruption, NGOs, and development in Nigeria. Third World Quarterly, 31, 243–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Srinivas, N. (2009). Against NGOs? A critical perspective on nongovernmental action. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 38, 614–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Ssebbanja, P. K. (2007). United against AIDS: The story of TASO. Oxford: Strategies for hope trust and TASO.Google Scholar
  106. Swidler, A., & Watkins, S. C. (2009). “Teach a man to fish”: The sustainability doctrine and its social consequences. World Development, 37, 1182–1196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Tembo, F. (2012). Citizen voice and state accountability: Towards theories of change that embrace contextual dynamics. Working paper 343. London: Overseas Development Institute (ODI).Google Scholar
  108. Tembo, F., & Wells, A. (2007). Multi-donor support to civil society and engaging with ‘non-traditional’ civil society: A light-touch review of DFID’s portfolio. London: Overseas Development Institute (ODI).Google Scholar
  109. The Economist. (2012, March 31). African democracy: A glass half-full representative government is still on the march in Africa, despite recent hiccups. The Economist.Google Scholar
  110. Therkildsen, O., & Semboja, J. (1995). Introduction: A new look at service provision in East Africa. In J. Semboja, & O. Therkildsen (Eds.), Service provision under stress in East Africa: The state, NGOs and people’s organizations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. London: John Currey.Google Scholar
  111. Tripp, A. M. (1998). Expanding ‘Civil Society’: Women and political space in contemporary Uganda. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 36, 84–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  112. Tripp, A. M. (2010). Museveni’s Uganda: Paradoxes of power in a hybrid regime. London: Rienner.Google Scholar
  113. Uphoff, N., & Krishna, A. (2004). Civil society and public sector institutions: More than a zero-sum relationship. Public administration and development, 24, 357–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  114. Wallace, T., Bornstein, L., & Chapman, J. (2006). The aid chain: Coercion and commitment in development NGOs. Warwickshire: Practical Action Pub.Google Scholar
  115. Wallace, T., Vadera, M., Kaleeba, M., Adong, R., & Coninck, J. (2004). The current procedures and policies dominating the disbursement of aid: are they building strong relationships and enabling NGOs to meet their stated aims? London: DFID.Google Scholar
  116. Whaites, A. (1996). Let’s get civil society straight: NGOs and political theory. Development in Practice, 6, 240–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Wiktorowicz, Q., & Farouki, S. T. (2000). Islamic NGOs and Muslim politics: A case from Jordan. Third World Quarterly, 21, 685–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. Wood, G. (1997). States without citizens: The problem of the franchise state. In D. Hulme, & M. Edwards (Eds.), NGOs, states and donors: Too close for comfort? London: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  119. World Bank. (1997). World development Report 1997. The state in a changing world. Washington DC: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  120. World Bank. (2004). World Development Report 2004: Making services work for poor people. Washington DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  121. Young, C. (1996). Africa: An interim balance sheet. Journal of Democracy, 7, 55–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment and DevelopmentUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM)University of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations