• Brian Esbensen
Within the past 20+ years the practices of Development have been changing, as well as the theoretical paradigm within which Development actors are operating. The significance of Civil Society and the mushrooming of NGOs are outcomes of that shift. Denmark has since the rise of modern Development in the post-second world war period been a very pro-active actor in Development. However, within the current Development paradigm a variety of instruments are available, hereunder a macro-oriented policy and the use of advocacy/lobbyism, which seeks to target the structures etc. causing under-development or obstructing development. This thesis takes its departure point in the observation that the Danish NGOs have not engaged in such a macro-oriented approach to the extent the paradigm seems to suggest. This raises the man-question of the thesis: “How can it be explained that the Danish NGOs tend to follow a micro-oriented approach, and remain reluctant to macro-oriented policies such as advocacy/lobbying on a larger scale?”. For the purpose of this discussion the thesis empirically focuses on Danish Church Aid and Save the Children. One of the underlying assumptions of the thesis is that the current practice needs critique and also within the contemporary Development paradigm there are possibilities to scale up and apply a more critical approach for the NGOs. In order to structure the theoretical framework two sub-questions are posed and they are: 1) Within which theoretical paradigm are the NGOs operating? and 2) How independent/dependent are the NGOs, primarily vis-a-vis the State ?. Thus, theoretical perspectives on NGOs, Development and Civil Society are reviewed and discussed to construct a theoretical framework for the later analytical discussion. In the analytical discussion it is especially discussed if the State-NGO relationship can explain Danish Church Aid’s and Save the Children’s reluctance to engage in more advocacy/lobbyism activities. Finally I conclude that a variety of variables conflict with a more macro-oriented policy of the NGOs addressed in this context. As a final concluding remark I summarize the points of this thesis in a number of ‘recommendations’, which serve to explicitize that with a critical approach it is considered as possible to challenge the current practices of Development.
Publication date2010
Number of pages88
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 19914342