Skip to Main Content
Maxwell School

TNGO Updates

Recent happenings from the TNGO Initiative

Anyone here speak NGOish?

 Permanent link   All Posts

A humorous story in The Economist  from South Sudan, where NGO-speak is quickly becoming a local language.

 

 The jargon of aid

   Jan 27th 2011 | NAIROBI | from PRINT EDITION

   THE emerging new country of South Sudan, which has voted
   overwhelmingly for secession from the north, has already become a
   leading nation of "the workshop": not a place where hard work gets
   done under duress but where the language of aid is taking hold even
   among the natives. "I feel like a stakeholder now," exclaimed a
   woman of the Dinka tribe, the region's most prolific.

   All the favourite words of NGO-speak are now aired in the makeshift
   corridors and canteens of Juba, the fledgling capital. Top of the
   list are "empowerment", "capacity-building" and "stakeholder" (not
   someone actually carrying a stake). "Governance", "civil society",
   "facilitators" and "disadvantaged" follow fast behind. British NGOs
   have a fondness for "focal groups". Americans like anything that
   leads to "inclusion", especially of the "excluded".

   Such terms' joy is that they are nice and woolly, hard to define and
   harder still to contradict: who could possibly turn down the chance
   to enhance development practitioners' facilitation skills for the
   capacity-building of gender-disadvantaged women?

   NGO-speak is particularly cherished and fostered in the grant
   applications that smaller NGOs have to file to the bigger ones.
   Using the right word is all. "If you don't know the buzz words,"
   says an NGO director, "you hardly have a chance to apply for funds."

RSS Feed
<< December 2017 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            

Blogroll

Archive

Subjects

Recent Posts