Building Local Capacity: A Case-Study on the Localization Process of Nongovernmental Organizations Today
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Nongovernmental Organizations(NGOs) act as an established sector in developing countries providing humanitarian aid, avenues for political activism and centers to bring voice to issues plaguing communities. This sector has traditionally been dominated by foreign and international employees as much of the aid that supports these projects comes from western countries and their governments. However in the global NGO community, there currently exists a movement towards implementing more local leadership, authority and control for the employees and volunteers of these organizations which has stimulated debate and discussion. My research explored the challenges that make the localization process both circumstantial and complex. These areas of debate and discussion relate to shifting relations and traditional roles that occur as a result of the localization process between international and local employees. Four areas of complexity were outlined as paramount to the makeup of the localization process. These included how donors relations and control over an NGO, the skills valued and required in service work, cultural differences and tensions between international and local staff and the definition or reexamination of an organizations beneficiaries in relation to the localization process. This paper discusses how these areas of potential conflict have challenged the localization process which has gained so much momentum today, and why the transition is viewed and as a positive step for developing nations.
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