Understanding NGO strategies to engage with donor-funded development projects: reconciling and differentiating objectives

Markus Ketola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Much of the literature on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) problematises the relationship between donors and NGOs in terms of the control the former exercise over the latter. This leaves other aspects of a rich and varied relationship relatively unexplored. The aim of this article is to highlight the agency of civil society actors to promote an agenda independent of donor interests. The reactions of Turkish NGOs to the policy agenda and financial support put forward by the European Union suggest two main motivations for NGO engagement with the process: negotiating access to material resources and participating in the politics of representation. Out of this engagement emerges a typology of four strategies labelled ‘translation’, ‘brokerage’, ‘navigation’ and ‘agonism’. These strategies reflect contrasting means of turning resources – both financial and ideopolitical – into the capacity to realise organisational objectives
LanguageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Volume0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2015

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development project
nongovernmental organization
resources
civil society
typology
politics
resource
navigation
European Union
literature

Keywords

  • civil society
  • NGOs
  • Turkey
  • donors
  • European Union

Cite this

@article{c992523f22c0434dbdd98d973f92d681,
title = "Understanding NGO strategies to engage with donor-funded development projects: reconciling and differentiating objectives",
abstract = "Much of the literature on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) problematises the relationship between donors and NGOs in terms of the control the former exercise over the latter. This leaves other aspects of a rich and varied relationship relatively unexplored. The aim of this article is to highlight the agency of civil society actors to promote an agenda independent of donor interests. The reactions of Turkish NGOs to the policy agenda and financial support put forward by the European Union suggest two main motivations for NGO engagement with the process: negotiating access to material resources and participating in the politics of representation. Out of this engagement emerges a typology of four strategies labelled ‘translation’, ‘brokerage’, ‘navigation’ and ‘agonism’. These strategies reflect contrasting means of turning resources – both financial and ideopolitical – into the capacity to realise organisational objectives",
keywords = "civil society, NGOs, Turkey, donors, European Union",
author = "Markus Ketola",
note = "Reference text: Bebbington, A., Hickey, S. and Mitlin, D. (2008) Can NGOs Make a Difference?: The Challenge of Development Alternatives. London, New York: Zed Books. Bierschenk, T., Chauveau, J.-P. and Olivier de Sardan, J.-P. (2002) Local Development Brokers: The Rise of a New Social Category. Working Paper Nr 13, Mainz, Germany: Department of Anthropology and African Studies, Johannes Gutenberg-Universit{\"a}t. Crotty, J. (2003) Managing civil society: Democratisation and the environmental movement in a Russian region. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 36(4): 489–508. | Article | de Haan, A. (2009) How the Aid Industry Works. Sterling, VA: Kumarian Press. de Zeeuw, J. (2005) Projects do not create institutions: The record of democracy assistance in post-conflict societies. Democratization 12(4): 481–504. | Article | Dodd, C.H. (1992) The development of Turkish democracy. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 19(1): 16–30. | Article | European Commission (2004) Strengthening Freedom of Association for Further Development of Civil Society (TR 04.01.04), Brussels. European Commission (2005) Communication from the Commission to the Council, The European Parliament, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Civil Society Dialogue between the EU and Candidate Countries, Brussels. European Union (2009) Glossary: Accession criteria, http://europa.eu/scadplus/glossary/accession_criteria_copenhague_en.htm, accessed 6 May 2014. Ferguson, J. (1990) The Anti-Politics Machine: Development, Depoliticization and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Fowler, A. (1997) Striking a Balance: A Guide to Enhancing the Effectiveness of Non-Governmental Organisations in International Development. London: Earthscan. Glasius, M., Lewis, D. and Seckinelgin, H. (eds.) (2004) Exploring Civil Society: Political and Cultural Contexts. London: Routledge. G{\"o}le, N. (1994) Toward an autonomization of politics and civil society. In: M. Heper and A. Evin (eds.) Politics in the Third Turkish Republic. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Hann, C.M. and Dunn, E. (1996) Civil Society: Challenging Western Models. London: Routledge. Hemment, J. (2004) The riddle of the third sector: Civil society, international aid, and NGOs in Russia. Anthropological Quarterly 77(2): 215–241. | Article | Henderson, S.L. (2002) Selling civil society – Western aid and the nongovernmental organization sector in Russia. Comparative Political Studies 35(2): 139–167. | Article | Howell, J. and Pearce, J. (2001) Civil Society and Development: A Critical Exploration. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Howell, J. and Lind, J. (2009) Counter-Terrorism, Aid and Civil Society Before and After the War on Terror: Non-Governmental Public Action Series, Basingstoke, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Hudock, A. (1999) NGOs and Civil Society: Democracy by Proxy? Cambridge, UK; Malden, MA: Polity Press. Human Rights Watch (2014) Russia: ‘Foreign agents’ law hits hundreds of NGOs, http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/29/russia-foreign-agents-law-hits-hundreds-ngos-updated-may-29-2014, accessed 27 May 2014. Ishkanian, A. (2006) From inclusion to exclusion: Armenian NGOs participation in the PRSP. Journal of International Development 18(5): 729–740. | Article | Ishkanian, A. (2008) Democracy Building and Civil Society in Post-Soviet Armenia, London: Routledge. Jordan Smith, D. (2010) Corruption, NGOs, and development in Nigeria. Third World Quarterly 31(2): 243–258. | Article | Ketola, M. (2011) EU democracy promotion in Turkey: Funding NGOs, funding conflict? The International Journal of Human Rights 15(6): 787–800. | Article | Ketola, M. (2012) ‘A gap in the bridge?’: European Union civil society financial assistance in Turkey. The European Journal of Development Research 24(1): 89–104. | Article | Ketola, M. (2013) Europeanization and Civil Society: Turkish NGOs as Instruments of Change. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Keyman, F.A. (2000) Global modernity, identity and democracy: The case of Turkey. In: G.G. {\"O}zdoğan and G. Tokay (eds.) Redefining the Nation State and Citizen. Istanbul, Turkey: Eren Press, pp. 69–89. Kuzmanovic, D. (2012) Refractions of Civil Society. Basingstoke, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Latour, B. (2005) Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. Lendvai, N. and Stubbs, P. (2009) Assemblages, translation, and intermediaries in South East Europe – Rethinking transnationalism and social policy. European Societies 11(5): 673–695. | Article | Lewis, D. (2014) Non-Governmental Organizations, Management and Development. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Lewis, D. and Mosse, D. (2006) Development Brokers and Translators: The Ethnography of Aid and Agencies. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press. Long, N. (2001) Development Sociology: Actor Perspectives. London: Routledge. Mercer, C. (2002) NGOs, civil society and democratization: A critical review of the literature. Progress in Development Studies 2(1): 5–22. | Article | Mosse, D. (2005) Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice. London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press. Mouffe, C. (2000) The Democratic Paradox, New York: Verso. Olivier de Sardan, J.P. (1999) A moral economy of corruption in Africa? The Journal of Modern African Studies 37(1): 25–52. | Article | Ottaway, M. and Carothers, T. (2000) Funding Virtue, Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press. Robinson, M. (1993) Governance, democracy and conditionality: NGOs and the new policy agenda. In: A. Clayton (ed.) Governance, Democracy and Conditionality: What Role for NGOs?. Oxford: International NGO Research and Training Centre. Routley, L. (2012) NGOs and the formation of the public: Grey practices and accountability. African Affairs 111(442): 116–134. | Article | Seckinelgin, H. (2006) Civil society between the state and society: Turkish women with Muslim headscarves? Critical Social Policy 26(4): 748–769. | Article | Seufert, G. (2000) The impact of national discourses on civil society. In: S. Yerasimos, G. Seufert and K. Vorhoff (eds.) Civil Society in the Grip of Nationalism. Istanbul: Orient-Institut, pp. 25–47. Şimşek, S. (2004) The transformation of civil society in Turkey: From quantity to quality. Turkish Studies 5(3): 46–74. | Article | TUSEV (2005) Civil Society in Turkey: And Era of Transition. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Report for Turkey. Istanbul, Turkey: TUSEV. TUSEV (2013) Civil Society Monitoring Report 2012. Istanbul, Turkey: TUSEV. White, G. (1994) Civil society, democratization and development: Clearing the analytical ground. Democratization 1(3): 370–385. | Article | White, S. (1996) Depoliticising development: The uses and abuses of participation. Development in Practice 6(1): 6–15. | Article | Yavuz, M.H. (2009) Secularism and Muslim Democracy in Turkey, Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press. Yilmaz, H. (2006) Two pillars of nationalist euroskepticism in Turkey: The Tanzimat and S{\`e}vres Syndromes. In: I. Karlsson and A.S. Melin (eds.) Sweden and the European Union: Experiences and Expectations. Stockholm, Sweden: Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies, pp. 29–40.",
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day = "2",
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Understanding NGO strategies to engage with donor-funded development projects: reconciling and differentiating objectives. / Ketola, Markus.

Vol. 0, 02.04.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Understanding NGO strategies to engage with donor-funded development projects: reconciling and differentiating objectives

AU - Ketola, Markus

N1 - Reference text: Bebbington, A., Hickey, S. and Mitlin, D. (2008) Can NGOs Make a Difference?: The Challenge of Development Alternatives. London, New York: Zed Books. Bierschenk, T., Chauveau, J.-P. and Olivier de Sardan, J.-P. (2002) Local Development Brokers: The Rise of a New Social Category. Working Paper Nr 13, Mainz, Germany: Department of Anthropology and African Studies, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität. Crotty, J. (2003) Managing civil society: Democratisation and the environmental movement in a Russian region. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 36(4): 489–508. | Article | de Haan, A. (2009) How the Aid Industry Works. Sterling, VA: Kumarian Press. de Zeeuw, J. (2005) Projects do not create institutions: The record of democracy assistance in post-conflict societies. Democratization 12(4): 481–504. | Article | Dodd, C.H. (1992) The development of Turkish democracy. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 19(1): 16–30. | Article | European Commission (2004) Strengthening Freedom of Association for Further Development of Civil Society (TR 04.01.04), Brussels. European Commission (2005) Communication from the Commission to the Council, The European Parliament, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Civil Society Dialogue between the EU and Candidate Countries, Brussels. European Union (2009) Glossary: Accession criteria, http://europa.eu/scadplus/glossary/accession_criteria_copenhague_en.htm, accessed 6 May 2014. Ferguson, J. (1990) The Anti-Politics Machine: Development, Depoliticization and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Fowler, A. (1997) Striking a Balance: A Guide to Enhancing the Effectiveness of Non-Governmental Organisations in International Development. London: Earthscan. Glasius, M., Lewis, D. and Seckinelgin, H. (eds.) (2004) Exploring Civil Society: Political and Cultural Contexts. London: Routledge. Göle, N. (1994) Toward an autonomization of politics and civil society. In: M. Heper and A. Evin (eds.) Politics in the Third Turkish Republic. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Hann, C.M. and Dunn, E. (1996) Civil Society: Challenging Western Models. London: Routledge. Hemment, J. (2004) The riddle of the third sector: Civil society, international aid, and NGOs in Russia. Anthropological Quarterly 77(2): 215–241. | Article | Henderson, S.L. (2002) Selling civil society – Western aid and the nongovernmental organization sector in Russia. Comparative Political Studies 35(2): 139–167. | Article | Howell, J. and Pearce, J. (2001) Civil Society and Development: A Critical Exploration. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Howell, J. and Lind, J. (2009) Counter-Terrorism, Aid and Civil Society Before and After the War on Terror: Non-Governmental Public Action Series, Basingstoke, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Hudock, A. (1999) NGOs and Civil Society: Democracy by Proxy? Cambridge, UK; Malden, MA: Polity Press. Human Rights Watch (2014) Russia: ‘Foreign agents’ law hits hundreds of NGOs, http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/29/russia-foreign-agents-law-hits-hundreds-ngos-updated-may-29-2014, accessed 27 May 2014. Ishkanian, A. (2006) From inclusion to exclusion: Armenian NGOs participation in the PRSP. Journal of International Development 18(5): 729–740. | Article | Ishkanian, A. (2008) Democracy Building and Civil Society in Post-Soviet Armenia, London: Routledge. Jordan Smith, D. (2010) Corruption, NGOs, and development in Nigeria. Third World Quarterly 31(2): 243–258. | Article | Ketola, M. (2011) EU democracy promotion in Turkey: Funding NGOs, funding conflict? The International Journal of Human Rights 15(6): 787–800. | Article | Ketola, M. (2012) ‘A gap in the bridge?’: European Union civil society financial assistance in Turkey. The European Journal of Development Research 24(1): 89–104. | Article | Ketola, M. (2013) Europeanization and Civil Society: Turkish NGOs as Instruments of Change. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Keyman, F.A. (2000) Global modernity, identity and democracy: The case of Turkey. In: G.G. Özdoğan and G. Tokay (eds.) Redefining the Nation State and Citizen. Istanbul, Turkey: Eren Press, pp. 69–89. Kuzmanovic, D. (2012) Refractions of Civil Society. Basingstoke, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Latour, B. (2005) Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. Lendvai, N. and Stubbs, P. (2009) Assemblages, translation, and intermediaries in South East Europe – Rethinking transnationalism and social policy. European Societies 11(5): 673–695. | Article | Lewis, D. (2014) Non-Governmental Organizations, Management and Development. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Lewis, D. and Mosse, D. (2006) Development Brokers and Translators: The Ethnography of Aid and Agencies. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press. Long, N. (2001) Development Sociology: Actor Perspectives. London: Routledge. Mercer, C. (2002) NGOs, civil society and democratization: A critical review of the literature. Progress in Development Studies 2(1): 5–22. | Article | Mosse, D. (2005) Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice. London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press. Mouffe, C. (2000) The Democratic Paradox, New York: Verso. Olivier de Sardan, J.P. (1999) A moral economy of corruption in Africa? The Journal of Modern African Studies 37(1): 25–52. | Article | Ottaway, M. and Carothers, T. (2000) Funding Virtue, Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press. Robinson, M. (1993) Governance, democracy and conditionality: NGOs and the new policy agenda. In: A. Clayton (ed.) Governance, Democracy and Conditionality: What Role for NGOs?. Oxford: International NGO Research and Training Centre. Routley, L. (2012) NGOs and the formation of the public: Grey practices and accountability. African Affairs 111(442): 116–134. | Article | Seckinelgin, H. (2006) Civil society between the state and society: Turkish women with Muslim headscarves? Critical Social Policy 26(4): 748–769. | Article | Seufert, G. (2000) The impact of national discourses on civil society. In: S. Yerasimos, G. Seufert and K. Vorhoff (eds.) Civil Society in the Grip of Nationalism. Istanbul: Orient-Institut, pp. 25–47. Şimşek, S. (2004) The transformation of civil society in Turkey: From quantity to quality. Turkish Studies 5(3): 46–74. | Article | TUSEV (2005) Civil Society in Turkey: And Era of Transition. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Report for Turkey. Istanbul, Turkey: TUSEV. TUSEV (2013) Civil Society Monitoring Report 2012. Istanbul, Turkey: TUSEV. White, G. (1994) Civil society, democratization and development: Clearing the analytical ground. Democratization 1(3): 370–385. | Article | White, S. (1996) Depoliticising development: The uses and abuses of participation. Development in Practice 6(1): 6–15. | Article | Yavuz, M.H. (2009) Secularism and Muslim Democracy in Turkey, Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press. Yilmaz, H. (2006) Two pillars of nationalist euroskepticism in Turkey: The Tanzimat and Sèvres Syndromes. In: I. Karlsson and A.S. Melin (eds.) Sweden and the European Union: Experiences and Expectations. Stockholm, Sweden: Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies, pp. 29–40.

PY - 2015/4/2

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N2 - Much of the literature on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) problematises the relationship between donors and NGOs in terms of the control the former exercise over the latter. This leaves other aspects of a rich and varied relationship relatively unexplored. The aim of this article is to highlight the agency of civil society actors to promote an agenda independent of donor interests. The reactions of Turkish NGOs to the policy agenda and financial support put forward by the European Union suggest two main motivations for NGO engagement with the process: negotiating access to material resources and participating in the politics of representation. Out of this engagement emerges a typology of four strategies labelled ‘translation’, ‘brokerage’, ‘navigation’ and ‘agonism’. These strategies reflect contrasting means of turning resources – both financial and ideopolitical – into the capacity to realise organisational objectives

AB - Much of the literature on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) problematises the relationship between donors and NGOs in terms of the control the former exercise over the latter. This leaves other aspects of a rich and varied relationship relatively unexplored. The aim of this article is to highlight the agency of civil society actors to promote an agenda independent of donor interests. The reactions of Turkish NGOs to the policy agenda and financial support put forward by the European Union suggest two main motivations for NGO engagement with the process: negotiating access to material resources and participating in the politics of representation. Out of this engagement emerges a typology of four strategies labelled ‘translation’, ‘brokerage’, ‘navigation’ and ‘agonism’. These strategies reflect contrasting means of turning resources – both financial and ideopolitical – into the capacity to realise organisational objectives

KW - civil society

KW - NGOs

KW - Turkey

KW - donors

KW - European Union

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