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Working Paper

IDS Working Paper;343

NGOs’ Strategies and the Challenge of Development and Democracy in Bangladesh

Published on 1 November 2010

Recent research on Bangladesh has come to embody an interesting paradox. On the one hand, it has experienced rising rates of growth, a slow but steady decline in poverty and impressive progress in terms of social development, outperforming some of its richer neighbours on a number of Millennium Development Goals.

On the other hand, it has an abysmal record on governance and was ranked as the world’s most corrupt country for five consecutive years by Transparency International. There is an emerging view that the country’s extremely active development NGO sector has contributed to some of the more positive achievements.

The question that this paper sets out to address is whythese organisations have not made an equivalent contribution on the governance front. The paper argues that while Bangladesh is reported to have more NGOs per capita than other developing countries, those organisations have gradually abandoned social mobilising and collective action strategies for a narrower focus on service delivery and microcredit provision.

Our research with the members of six organisations that straddle the continuum between microfinance and social mobilisation suggests that the specific developmental strategies of these membership-based groups do indeed have consequences for both development and democracy in the country.

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Kabeer, N., Mahmud, S. and Castro, J. (2010) 'NGOs' Strategies and the Challenge of Development and Democracy in Bangladesh', IDS Working Paper 343, Brighton: IDS

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Authors

Image of Naila Kabeer

Naila Kabeer

Emiritus Fellow

Publication details

published by
IDS
authors
Kabeer, N., Mahmud, S. and Castro, J.
journal
IDS Working Paper, issue 343
isbn
978 1 85864 929 3
language
English

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