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National ownership and donor involvement: an aid paradox illustrated by the case of Rwanda

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Malin Hasselskog
Peter Mugume
Eric Ndushabandi
Isabell Schierenbeck
Publicerad i Third World Quarterly
Volym 38
Nummer/häfte 8
ISSN 0143-6597
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för globala studier
Språk en
Länkar doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2016.12567...
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.108...
Ämnesord ownership, policy dialogue, donor involvement, Rwanda
Ämneskategorier Freds- och utvecklingsforskning

Sammanfattning

A paradox in current international development cooperation is comprised by the simultaneous insistence on national ownership and far-reaching donor involvement through policy dialogue. In order to better understand this combination of a strong ownership ideal and extensive donor presence, this article explores how national and external actors portray the process of formulating and revising development policies and programmes in an aid recipient country. The study is based on original empirical material from national as well as external actors involved in the aid relation in Rwanda which, despite heavy aid dependence, is known to have achieved relative policy independence. Analysed in relation to three strands of critical thought in previous research, findings show that, in Rwanda, the very top political leadership is actively involved in initiating and formulating policies; that there are instances of negotiation as well as strong disagreements between national and external actors; and that, rather than donors seeking to retain control, Rwanda is depicted as setting its own agenda and effectively managing its donors. The paradox of an ownership ideal combined with donor involvement is thus met by an apparent tendency among national as well as external actors to emphasise national ownership while toning down donor influence.

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