NGOs and Sustainable Development in Zimbabwe: No Magic Bullets

NGOs and Sustainable Development in Zimbabwe: No Magic Bullets ABSTRACT A number of case studies of NGO projects have suggested that NGOs may have an important role to play in addressing environmental problems in developing countries. Drawing on research conducted in Zimbabwe, this analysis seeks to broaden and contextualize the discussion of NGO involvement in sustainable development initiatives. It reviews the theoretical basis for the current emphasis on NGOs, assesses the environmental problems in Zimbabwe within their historical and social contexts, and summarizes the findings of recent research on the characteristics of the NGO sector in the country. The purpose is not to evaluate specific NGO environment projects, but rather to assess the mechanisms through which the NGO sector as a whole might make a significant contribution to sustainable development, and the problems in doing so. It is argued that one major obstacle faced by NGOs is the demand made upon them to find simple, neat and comprehensive solutions to complex development problems. The tendency on the part of donors and NGO supporters to expect success stories is called here the ‘magic bullet syndrome’, and it is argued that this emphasis on simplicity and on success is unrealistic and counterproductive. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Development and Change Wiley

NGOs and Sustainable Development in Zimbabwe: No Magic Bullets

Development and Change, Volume 25 (1) – Jan 1, 1994

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 1994 Institute of Social Studies
ISSN
0012-155X
eISSN
1467-7660
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-7660.1994.tb00513.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT A number of case studies of NGO projects have suggested that NGOs may have an important role to play in addressing environmental problems in developing countries. Drawing on research conducted in Zimbabwe, this analysis seeks to broaden and contextualize the discussion of NGO involvement in sustainable development initiatives. It reviews the theoretical basis for the current emphasis on NGOs, assesses the environmental problems in Zimbabwe within their historical and social contexts, and summarizes the findings of recent research on the characteristics of the NGO sector in the country. The purpose is not to evaluate specific NGO environment projects, but rather to assess the mechanisms through which the NGO sector as a whole might make a significant contribution to sustainable development, and the problems in doing so. It is argued that one major obstacle faced by NGOs is the demand made upon them to find simple, neat and comprehensive solutions to complex development problems. The tendency on the part of donors and NGO supporters to expect success stories is called here the ‘magic bullet syndrome’, and it is argued that this emphasis on simplicity and on success is unrealistic and counterproductive.

Journal

Development and ChangeWiley

Published: Jan 1, 1994

References

  • The Role of NGOs in Changing State‐Society Relations: Perspectives from Eastern and Southern Africa
    Fowler, Fowler

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