ActionAid Denmark. -An analysis of the change of strategy and the relation to international development studies.

Sofie Hjorth Schausen

Studenteropgave: Kandidatprojekt


The contribution by NGOs to development aid has been growing dramatically for the last decades. Despite the diversity among NGOs one of the core purposes of the majority of activities and programmes raised is ‘empowering’ of poor people and minorities, in order for them to gain a louder ‘voice’ and greater influence and thereby gain increased control of their lives.
For decades it has been argued weather International development studies are worth their time. Do they affect the global development or have any influence of development practices. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the NGO, ActionAid Denmark relate to critical debates within international development studies when developing new strategies for increasing poverty be empowering vulnerable groups in local societies.
The research represented in this report is based on five month internship in the head office in Copenhagen. Doing the internship I have witnessed the announcement of the new strategy for 2018-2022 and the fledgling beginnen of its implementation. I have conducted document analysis of the organisations application for funding and strategy papers as well as interviews with the Board chairwoman and two operational managers.
Based on Roger C. Riddells (2007) analysis of the critiques of the impacts of NGOs on international development, Muhan Duttas (2008) theory of culture-centered approach and William Easterly argument for searching rather than planning as the right approach to development, I argue that the new strategy for 2018-2022 does seek to find new ways of fighting global poverty and inequality, which can be seen to aswar some the of the critique that has been presented by critical development studies. Further on I argue that the change of strategy is representing a trend with development actors, donors and politicians. Whether the changes of strategy is aught the critical development studies or lessons learned within the field will remain unanswered.
For further understanding of to which extant the new strategy is cultural-centered within the local societies it targets, investigations of the implementation processes must conducted as well as studies of the power-relations of the involved actors.
The limitations of the research represented in this report is that i have not been able to investigate the process of developing of the new strategy which could have provided a deeper and more nuanced understanding of which impact of international development studies have had on the direction of the strategy..

UddannelserInternationale Udviklingsstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 feb. 2018
Antal sider30
VejledereOle Bruun


  • Praktik
  • NGO
  • Internationale Udviklingstudier
  • Strategiudvikling