04 February 2010

Are NGOs killing civil society?

Paul who was in Juba recently has an interesting hypothesis: 
"International NGOs are killing civil society in developing countries."
I'm left with lots of questions. What is the counterfactual? Was there a flourishing civil society before aid? Is there anywhere without INGOs? If the question is about quality rather than quantity is it even possible to properly test this theory? How about Bashir's NGO expulsion as a natural experiment? How will Northern Sudanese civil society compare (with itself in the past, and with its equivalent in the South) in a few years time? What about militias, aren't they non-governmental organisations?

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