An Emerging Partnership in Regional Economic Development: Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Local State and the World Bank. A Case Study of Planafloro, Rond˘nia, Brazil.

by

Marcos Antonio Pedlowski

PhD Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

in

Environmental Design and Planning

Approved

John O. Browder

April 07, 1997
Blacksburg, Virginia

Abstract

There is a growing body of literature arguing that NGOs are an important tool in the efforts of civil society to influence the actions of the State, especially in the process of economic development. NGOs are primarily seen as effective advocates for the less privileged sectors of civil society. This study examines the influence of local NGOs participation in the implementation of PLANAFLORO, a regional economic development program partially funded by the World Bank in the Brazilian state of Rond˘nia. This study focuses on four issues that are commonly used to justify the inclusion of NGOs in the development process: representativeness, accountability, autonomy and effectiveness. This study relies on three basic methods of data gathering: focused interviews of key informants, questionnaire-based surveys of different stake-holder groups, and information from secondary sources. This study's results challenge the common wisdom regarding the positive impacts of NGO participation in economic development programs, and on their contribution to democratic governance. NGOs participating in PLANAFLORO faced great institutional and political difficulties in the process of participation. Many NGOs did not have either the institutional capabilities or the financial autonomy to influence the process of policy-making in PLANAFLORO effectively. Moreover, most NGOs did not have mechanisms of accountability to inform the program's intended beneficiaries of the state of PLANAFLORO's implementation. Finally, both the local State and the World Bank only reluctantly accepted the participation of NGOs in PLANAFLORO. This fact served to greatly limit the contribution of NGOs in PLANAFLORO.


List of attached files

File NameSize (Bytes)
CH0.PDF22,800 Bytes
CH1.PDF32,167 Bytes
CH2.PDF62,663 Bytes
CH3.PDF26,043 Bytes
CH4.PDF180,490 Bytes
CH5.PDF51,215 Bytes
CH6.PDF150,170 Bytes
CH7.PDF74,716 Bytes
CH8.PDF56,452 Bytes
CH9.PDF15,778 Bytes
REF.PDF62,173 Bytes


The author grants to Virginia Tech or its agents the right to archive and display their thesis or dissertation in whole or in part in the University Libraries in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all proprietary rights, such as patent rights. The author also retains the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis or dissertation.