Local Ownership and Poverty Reduction of Local Communities in the Global South- Perceived From a Postcolonial Perspective The Case of Malian Small Scale Development Projects
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Development “aid” has in the last decades been rephrased into development “cooperation”, with a focus on the collaboration of the donor on the one side and the “ones to be helped” on the other (Di Ciommo, 2014). Among the development actors, such as NGOs, governments, and development banks, a quite new group came up, namely the private development initiatives (“ PDIs”)- which are small scale organisations that differ from the other groups mainly due to their small scale and local projects. Their focus, as claimed by several authors (e.g. Hellheiner, 2010; Kinsbergen, 2014; Van den Berg & De Goede, 2012; Shirch, 2019; Van der Lee, 2011), is concerned with local ownership and local sustainable development. Local ownership implies that the local community at focus does actively participate in the whole project planning, execution, and maintenance (=keeping it “running”). Four interrelated principles are key for local ownership, which are local participation, self-reliance, empowerment, and capacity building. It has been argued that this local ownership with an eye at development for a particular community at the long term, called in the thesis “local sustainable development”, is often a key part to integrate in the methods of PDIs (e.g. Jourdan, 1998; Hellheiner, 2010; Ejdus, 2017; Eijndhoven-Meijers, 2021; De Gaay-Fortman, 2021). There has been done research on the topic by scholars such as Kinsbergen (2014;2015), Ejdus (2017), Schulpen (2005), and Schirch (2019). However, there has not research research yet how local ownership is integrated by the PDIs specifically in their methods of small- scale local poverty reduction in the Global South. Therefore, the research in this thesis will focus on the main question: How is local ownership, with an eye on local sustainable development in the Global South, integrated in the methods of PDIs? By conducting in depth interviews with people that have had PDIs and with people that have a background in the topic, and by analyzing among other things policy documents of PDIs (secondary data collection), an answer is provided. Furthermore, a special focus is put on four specific PDIs in Mali and postcolonialism as perspective on the methods of the PDIs. Looking at the results, it can be concluded that local ownership is a key part of the method of PDIs and that the principles of community participation, self-reliance, empowerment, and capacity building are significant: letting the locals actively participate, relying on their own resources, strengthening their skills and capacities and/or empowering their mentality are key for the local development projects- and show lots of postcolonial characteristics.
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