The Social Construction of Development Cooperation Success and Failure

Journal article in Forum for Development Studies. In relations of development cooperation between donors and recipients, determining success or failure is something often perceived as bounded to metrics and impact. How many schools were built, how many children were educated? How did you fare from the benchmarks set at the time of project initiation? More often than not however, donors are engaged in development endeavours whose success or failure, numbers or impact evaluations do not determine. In such instances, success is a negotiated truth.

In this new article in Forum for Development Studies, Adam Moe Fejerskov examines how the Intergovernmental Authority on Development or IGAD, a regional organisation in the Horn of Africa, has been able to sustain and portray itself as a successful organization despite having little substantial influence on the areas it is tasked with improving. In the article he shows how the construction of IGAD as a successful development project occurs in the mediation of the organization’s systems of representation and the donors’ systems of interpretation.

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