At a time when uneven power dynamics are high on development actors’ agenda, this book will be an important contribution to researchers and practitioners working on innovation in development and civil society.

While there is much discussion of localization, decolonization and ‘shifting power’ in civil society collaborations in development, the debate thus far centers on the aid system. This book directs attention to CSOs as drivers of development in various contexts that we refer to as the Global South. This book take a transformative stance, reimagining roles, relations and processes. It does so from five complementary angles: (1) Southern CSOs reclaiming the lead, 2) displacement of the North–South dyad, (3) Southern-centred questions, (4) new roles for Northern actors, and (5) new starting points for collaboration. The book relativizes international collaboration, asking INGOs, Northern CSOs, and their donors to follow Southern CSOs’ leads, recognizing their contextually geared perspectives, agendas, resources, capacities, and ways of working. Based in 19 empirically grounded chapters, the book also offers an agenda for further research, design, and experimentation.

Emphasizing the need to ‘Start from the South’ this book thus re-imagines and re-centers Civil Society collaborations in development, offering Southern-centred ways of understanding and developing relations, roles, and processes, in theory and practice.

The Open Access version of this book, available at https://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. Funded by Wageningen University.

chapter 1|17 pages


Towards reimagining civil society collaborations in development
ByMargit van Wessel, Tiina Kontinen, Justice Nyigmah Bawole
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chapter 2|20 pages

Conceptual foundations

Reimagining roles, relations, and processes
ByMargit van Wessel, Tiina Kontinen
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part Part 1|57 pages

Reclaiming the lead

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chapter 4|14 pages

REIMAGINING development from local voices and positions – Southern feminist movements in the lead

ByNjeri Kimotho, Catherine Odenyo-Ndekera, Janna Visser
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chapter 6|14 pages

Contesting practices of aid localization in Jordan and Lebanon

Civil society organizations' mobilization of local knowledge 1
ByElena Aoun, Lyla André, Alena Sander
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part Part 2|48 pages

Displacing the North–South dyad

chapter 7|15 pages

Southern civil society organizations as practical hybrids

Dealing with legitimacy in a Ugandan gender advocacy organization
ByTiina Kontinen, Alice N. Ndidde
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chapter 8|15 pages

Beyond the North–South dyad

Diaspora-led organizations in development collaborations
BySusan Appe
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chapter 9|16 pages

Exploring mutual dependence through non-financial resource exchanges

A Tanzanian non-governmental organization network case study
BySandy Zook, Samantha Temple, Emmanuel Malisa
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part Part 3|71 pages

Asking Southern-centred questions

chapter 10|15 pages

Advocating for land rights in Kenya

A community-based organization's attempt to reconcile external funding with local legitimacy
BySelma Zijlstra, Marja Spierenburg
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chapter 12|13 pages

Moving beyond (en)forced North–South collaboration for development

Possibilities from Pakistan
ByThemrise Khan
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chapter 13|15 pages

Shifting the narrative

Localization and ‘shift the power’ in the African context
ByEmmanuel Kumi, Thomas Yeboah, Nancy Kankam Kusi, Jimm Chick Fomunjong, Charles Kojo Vandyck
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chapter 14|11 pages

Contrasting gifting postures in a local Ghanaian community

Are there lessons about African philanthropy?
ByEsi Eduafowa, Justice Nyigmah Bawole
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part Part 4|48 pages

Learning new roles for the North

chapter 15|14 pages

Localizing humanitarian knowledge management

A call for pragmatic robust action
ByFemke Mulder
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chapter 16|16 pages

The journey to Southern leadership in programming

The story of a decade-long Ghanaian–Dutch partnership
ByMohammed Awal, Mohammed Awal Alhassan, Marijke Priester
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chapter 17|16 pages

Starting advocacy programmES from the South

Rethinking multi-country programming
ByMargit van Wessel
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part Part 5|77 pages

Choosing new starting points for collaboration

chapter 18|14 pages

A feminist approach to collaboration

A sex workers' network in India
ByB. Rajeshwari, Margit van Wessel, Nandini Deo
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chapter 19|15 pages

Practising organizational autonomy at the community level

Evidence from advocacy projects in Uganda and Vietnam
ByLena Gutheil
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chapter 20|15 pages

Beyond the North–South dichotomy

A case study on tackling global problems starting from the South
ByRuna Khan, Dorothee ter Kulve, Sarah Haaij
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chapter 21|16 pages

Shift the power? Constraints and enablers of more equitable partnerships between non-governmental organizations

The case of Dutch small-scale development initiatives in Uganda and India
BySara Kinsbergen, Mieke Molthof, Linda van der Hoek, Anna Vellinga
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chapter 22|15 pages


ByMargit van Wessel, Tiina Kontinen, Justice Nyigmah Bawole
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