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Can NGOs make a difference? - The role of NGOs in agricultural water development policy processes in Tanzania
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Agricultural water management (AWM) has been identified as a mean for small-scale farmers to increase productivity and to overcome challenges posed by occurring climate changes, holding them in a poverty trap. Stakeholder participation has been included in national plans since the development of the Agenda 21, from the Rio Conference in 1992. In this context, the participation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is recognised to play a key role in ensuring sustainability and reduction of poverty, for example through approaches of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and ‘good governance’. This study focuses on the participation of NGOs in decision making around agricultural water development in Tanzania. The research takes a systematic approach to address both the ‘perceived’ and ‘expected’ engagement of NGOs in different policy processes.

The findings of this study demonstrate that although NGOs are formally included in decision making, their participation has become narrowed down to service provision and implementation of policies, as opposed to NGOs having a more meaningful influence over the setting of policy priorities.

The study further demonstrates that unequal power relations between different NGOs as well as between collectives of NGOs and other stakeholders in government and business may pose added challenges for their participation in policy development. However, the organisation of NGOs in networks may provide a fundamental (yet not formally articulated) support towards NGO efforts to overcome unequal power relations. It is therefore important to better understand how well-coordinated NGO networks with good connections to decision-makers can help individual NGOs to increase their influence in policy processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
agricultural water management; networks; non-governmental organisations; participation; Tanzania
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-91117OAI: diva2:630876
Available from: 2013-07-11 Created: 2013-06-19 Last updated: 2013-07-11Bibliographically approved

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