23. NGOs and Community Development: Assessing the Contributions from Sen's Perspective of Freedom

  1. D. Douglas Caulkins2 and
  2. Ann T. Jordan3
  1. J. Montgomery Roper

Published Online: 2 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118325513.ch23

A Companion to Organizational Anthropology

A Companion to Organizational Anthropology

How to Cite

Roper, J. M. (2012) NGOs and Community Development: Assessing the Contributions from Sen's Perspective of Freedom, in A Companion to Organizational Anthropology (eds D. D. Caulkins and A. T. Jordan), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118325513.ch23

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell, USA

  2. 3

    University of North Texas, USA

Author Information

  1. Grinnell College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 29 OCT 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405199827

Online ISBN: 9781118325513

SEARCH

Keywords:

  • community development;
  • donor influences;
  • NGO Contributions;
  • NGO effectiveness;
  • nongovernment organizations (NGOs);
  • Sen's perspective of freedom

Summary

This chapter reviews some of the main ways that nongovernment organizations (NGOs) can positively impact communities, and some of the obstacles they face to providing benefits. The review focuses on southern intermediary development NGOs. From Amartya Sen's perspective, well-meaning NGOs generally do serve to remove unfreedoms and enhance the capabilities of those they serve through such means as meeting physical and material needs, providing education and training, building organizations within and between communities, and creating linkages with other communities and institutions. NGOs come closest to achieving the ideal when they work closely in partnership with community members through such means as participatory planning and evaluation. By promoting competition for funding, supporting predefined development agendas, and encouraging professionalization, donors influence NGOs in ways that distance them (socially, ideologically, physically) from the communities they claim as their constituency and undermine their effectiveness.