Danish Support to Civil Society: Understanding the implications of multi-donor funds supporting civil society

John Stian Haukeland

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis critically examines the Danish support to civil society and relates it to the Aid Effectiveness Agenda. Increasingly multi-donor funds are used to support civil society in partner countries directly. Through a case study of a multi-donor fund in Ghana, this thesis tries to understand the underlying motivation behind pooled funding mechanisms and the implications this have for civil society in partner countries. After discussing what civil society means and where it comes from, the role of civil society and development is reviewed. Often civil society is ascribed normative meaning in terms of democratization. However, only by applying an analytical approach is the concept relevant in the context of Sub- Saharan Africa. After generating five hypotheses -following an in-depth deskresearch- about STAR-Ghana (the case study) and aid effectiveness, six semistructure interviews document STAR-Ghana’s implications for civil society in Ghana. Amongst the main findings, it is shown that the institutional donors are more concerned with their own agendas than national strategies. Further, the donor harmonization lead to an increased professionalization of civil society in Ghana, as the requirements for obtaining support is raised. Finally, concerns for public support to development cooperation have led to an unprecedented emphasis on accountability and results-based management, as short-term results are easier to communicate than long-term development. The overall conclusion seems to be, that STAR-Ghana is multi-donor fund that in fact promote aid efficiency rather than aid effectiveness. Keywords: #Civil Society #Multi-Donor Funds #Development Aid #STAR-Ghana #Danida #Aid Effectiveness #New Public Management

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages108