From Demanding to Delivering Development: Challenges of NGO Led Development in Rajasthan, India
University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
The NGO sector in India has seen unprecedented growth in the recent past. A whole range of NGOs are not just ‘demanding' development from the state but also ‘delivering' development in the Indian countryside. While popular interest in the role of the non-governmental development sector is growing, it is not complemented by empirical studies which explain how do local NGOs evolve and change over time? What happens when grassroots NGOs expand their activities, capacities, resources and power to consolidate their position in the development regime? This paper addresses these questions on the basis of organisational life history of a local NGO in the desert state of Rajasthan in India. The evidence presented in the paper derives from qualitative research undertaken during a three-month stay with the NGO, involving semi-structured interviews and open-ended discussions with a broad range of stakeholders including NGO functionaries and villagers, direct observation, participation in NGO meetings and local documentary sources. Applying the life history research to NGOs is an innovative approach used by the author for understanding why do local NGOs follow particular strategies in their field of action, and what are the repercussions of their actions in terms of developmental outcomes?
Keywords: Grassroot organisations, natural resources management, NGOs, Rajasthan, watershed development
Contact Address: Saurabh Gupta, University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics, Wollgrasweg 43, Zimmer 1.24, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany, e-mail: saurabh.guptauni-hohenheim.de