Changing Relationships between Rights Holders and Others in Inclusive Aid : A Case Study of Partnerships between NGOs and Identity-Based Associations in Nepal <Research Note>
international development aid
This article discusses the processes and conditions necessary for “inclusive aid,” with a special focus on identity-based associations (IBAs) established by socially excluded groups. The study defines inclusive aid as aid that establishes IBAs as core implementing partners of development programs. Inclusive aid enables IBAs to be recognized as civil society organizations (CSOs), and to restore human rights by transforming relationships among IBAs, international non-government organizations (NGOs), and local NGOs. As an example, the paper examines Shakti Samuha in Nepal, the first IBA in the world established by survivors of human trafficking. This organization was selected because it is a model for other IBAs formed by stigmatized women and has become an indispensable actor in Nepal.
The article begins with a critical review of the current tendency of development aid to exclude IBAs. Next, it examines prior studies on partnerships and a “rights-based approach”, and those on development partnerships, in which IBAs are paired with international NGOs. Based on interviews with members, staff, advisors of Shakti Samuha and its supporters, and staff of partner organizations, the case demonstrates an evolutionary process of inclusive aid that follows five steps: 1) organizing a group of excluded persons; 2) transforming from self-help organizations to IBAs; 3) mutual learning through networking; 4) working with various actors; and 5) changing relationships between rights holders and other actors. The findings will be applicable in countries where partnership styles and the establishment of IBAs are promoted. The study aims to examine the present conditions for successful partnerships with marginalized organizations and other development agencies, and does not deal with social inclusion of marginalized people in general. The scope of this study is limited to partnership issues in the development aid sector.
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