Projekter pr. år
It is a core principle in non-governmental organisation (NGO)-driven development that interventions must be ‘sustainable’. Individuals and communities are to be ‘empowered’ to take responsibility for their own development in ways that will eventually make donor funding redundant. On the basis of ethnographic fieldwork with NGOs supporting ‘orphans and vulnerable children’ in Malawi, this article explores the practices, social relations and contradictory effects that the vision of sustainability engenders. The article illustrates how the commitment to sustainability paradoxically produces practices that can only be sustained through continuous flows of donor funding. It argues that the persistence of sustainability as an organising principle is connected both to its self-confirming logic and to the ways in which practices of ‘sustainability’ shape the subjectivities of local brokers and come to constitute a central avenue for pursuing personal projects of development.