National Ownership and Local Participation
This research project investigates the inter-relation between national ownership and local participation. The working hypothesis is that these two concepts cannot and should not be conflated as often is the case in the development discourse. Though the implications of national ownership are disputed, it has turned into a main dogma in development aid, and overall levels are shown to increase (OECD 2016). Local participation, too, is contested (Cooke and Kothari 2001) but remains unanimously promoted, though in different forms and for different reasons (Mansuri and Rao 2013). Each concept is thus inherently ambiguous and subject to critical debate, their interrelation also needs to be scrutinised rather than assumed.
The study aims to understand three questions:
- What indications and expressions are there of external influence on programme formulation and implementation?
- What contents and characteristics of local engagement are officially intended?
- What contents and characteristics of local engagement are locally experienced?