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Malin Arvidson. Photo: Patrik Hekkala

Malin Arvidson

Senior lecturer

Malin Arvidson. Photo: Patrik Hekkala

Contradictions and Confusions in Development Work: Exploring the Realities of Bangladeshi NGOs

Author

  • Malin Arvidson

Summary, in English

Ambiguous practices and identities of NGOs have become a source of increasing concern

for all involved in development intervention. But apart from pointing at dishonest marketing

and unfortunate unintended consequences of donors’ support, how can we understand

these ambiguities? Based on an ethnographic study of local Bangladeshi NGOs,

the article explores actions and behaviour of grassroots NGO staff. The article shows how,

equipped with an ideal image of the altruistic development worker, the staff ’s encounter

with reality provides them with contradictory and confusing messages as to who they

should be and how they should act, resulting in disillusion and moral discord. The analysis

examines concepts such as altruism, alienation, goal ambiguity, moral selving and moral

discord, with an aim to expand our understanding of some moral dilemmas of development

practice, its sources and unpredictable outcomes.

Department/s

  • Sociology

Publishing year

2008

Language

English

Pages

109-134

Publication/Series

Journal of South Asian Development

Volume

3

Issue

1

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Topic

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Keywords

  • participation
  • empowerment
  • NGOs
  • Bangladesh

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0973-1741