Ghent University Academic Bibliography

Advanced

Development aid to water management in Mali: the actors, 'global' paradigms, and 'local' translations

Jan Cherlet UGent (2012)
abstract
Development aid involves a complex network of numerous and extremely heterogeneous actors. Nevertheless, all actors seem to speak the same ‘development jargon’ and to display a congruence that extends from the donor over the professional consultant to the village chief. And although the ideas about what counts as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ aid have constantly changed over time —with new paradigms and policies sprouting every few years— the apparent congruence between actors more or less remains unchanged. How can this be explained? Is it a strategy of all actors to get into the pocket of the donor, or are the social dynamics in development aid more complex? When a new development paradigm appears, where does it come from and how does it gain support? Is this support really homogeneous? To answer the questions, a multi-sited ethnography was conducted in the sector of water-related development aid, with a focus on 3 paradigms that are currently hegemonic in this sector: Integrated Water Resources Management, Capacity Building, and Adaptation to Climate Change. The sites of inquiry were: the headquarters of a multilateral organization, the headquarters of a development NGO, and the Inner Niger Delta in Mali. The research shows that paradigm shifts do not happen overnight but that new paradigms have long lines of descent. Moreover, they require a lot of work from actors in order to become hegemonic; the actors need to create a tight network of support. Each actor, however, interprets the paradigms in a slightly different way, depending on the position in the network. They implant their own interests in their interpretation of the paradigm (the actors ‘translate’ their interests), regardless of whether they constitute the donor, a mediator, or the aid recipient. These translations are necessary to cement and reproduce the network.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
promoter
UGent
organization
year
type
dissertation (composite)
subject
keyword
Actor-Network Theory, Integrated Water Resources Management, Capacity Building, Multi-sited Ethnography, Inner Niger Delta
pages
XXII, 272 pages
publisher
Ghent University, Department of Third world studies
place of publication
Ghent, Belgium
defense location
Bologna, Italy
defense date
2012-07-05 15:00
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
D1
additional info
Joint PhD degree of - University of Bologna, PhD program in 'Science, Technology, and Humanities', PhD supervisor prof Roberto Scazzieri - Ghent University, PhD program in 'Political Sciences', supervisor prof Koen Vlassenroot
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
2964760
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2964760
date created
2012-07-30 11:17:19
date last changed
2012-08-13 11:47:55
@phdthesis{2964760,
  abstract     = {Development aid involves a complex network of numerous and extremely heterogeneous actors. Nevertheless, all actors seem to speak the same {\textquoteleft}development jargon{\textquoteright} and to display a congruence that extends from the donor over the professional consultant to the village chief. And although the ideas about what counts as {\textquoteleft}good{\textquoteright} and {\textquoteleft}bad{\textquoteright} aid have constantly changed over time ---with new paradigms and policies sprouting every few years--- the apparent congruence between actors more or less remains unchanged. How can this be explained? Is it a strategy of all actors to get into the pocket of the donor, or are the social dynamics in development aid more complex? When a new development paradigm appears, where does it come from and how does it gain support? Is this support really homogeneous? To answer the questions, a multi-sited ethnography was conducted in the sector of water-related development aid, with a focus on 3 paradigms that are currently hegemonic in this sector: Integrated Water Resources Management, Capacity Building, and Adaptation to Climate Change. The sites of inquiry were: the headquarters of a multilateral organization, the headquarters of a development NGO, and the Inner Niger Delta in Mali. The research shows that paradigm shifts do not happen overnight but that new paradigms have long lines of descent. Moreover, they require a lot of work from actors in order to become hegemonic; the actors need to create a tight network of support. Each actor, however, interprets the paradigms in a slightly different way, depending on the position in the network. They implant their own interests in their interpretation of the paradigm (the actors {\textquoteleft}translate{\textquoteright} their interests), regardless of whether they constitute the donor, a mediator, or the aid recipient. These translations are necessary to cement and reproduce the network.},
  author       = {Cherlet, Jan},
  keyword      = {Actor-Network Theory,Integrated Water Resources Management,Capacity Building,Multi-sited Ethnography,Inner Niger Delta},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {XXII, 272},
  publisher    = {Ghent University, Department of Third world studies},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {Development aid to water management in Mali: the actors, 'global' paradigms, and 'local' translations},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Cherlet, Jan. 2012. “Development Aid to Water Management in Mali: The Actors, ‘Global’ Paradigms, and ‘Local’ Translations”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University, Department of Third world studies.
APA
Cherlet, J. (2012). Development aid to water management in Mali: the actors, “global” paradigms, and “local” translations. Ghent University, Department of Third world studies, Ghent, Belgium.
Vancouver
1.
Cherlet J. Development aid to water management in Mali: the actors, “global” paradigms, and “local” translations. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University, Department of Third world studies; 2012.
MLA
Cherlet, Jan. “Development Aid to Water Management in Mali: The Actors, ‘Global’ Paradigms, and ‘Local’ Translations.” 2012 : n. pag. Print.