Title page for ETD etd-5125212939721181

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Pedlowski, Marcos Antonio
URN etd-5125212939721181
Title An Emerging Partnership in Regional Economic Development: Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Local State and the World Bank. A Case Study of Planafloro, Rondônia, Brazil.
Degree PhD
Department Environmental Design and Planning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Grossman, Lawrence S.
Randolph, John
Stephenson, Max O. Jr.
Youngs, Robert L.
Browder, John O. Committee Chair
  • non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • regional development
  • civil society
  • state
  • world bank
Date of Defense 1997-05-07
Availability unrestricted
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 Rondônia. 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


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