Development Studies Association 2023 (Roundtable discussion): Reimagining civil society collaborations in development

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While there is much discussion of localization, decolonization and 'shifting power' in civil society collaborations in development, the debate thus far centres on reforming the aid system. A new book, brought out by Routledge early 2023, titled 'Reimagining civil society collaborations in development. Starting from the South' explores different ways in which civil society collaborations in development can be grounded in new imaginings.

It directs attention to CSOs as drivers of development in various contexts that we refer to as the Global South. The book takes a transformative stance, reimagining roles, relations and processes. It does so from five complementary angles: 1) Southern CSOs reclaiming the lead, 2) displacement of the North-South dyad, 3) Southern-centred questions, 4) new roles for Northern actors, and 5) new starting points for collaboration. The book relativizes international collaboration, asking INGOs, Northern CSOs, and their donors to follow Southern CSOs' leads, recognizing their contextually geared perspectives, agendas, resources, capacities, and ways of working. Presented in 19 empirically grounded chapters, the book also offers an agenda for further research, design, and experimentation.

Emphasizing the need to 'Start from the South' this book thus re-imagines and re-centres Civil Society collaborations in development, offering Southern-centred ways of understanding and developing relations, roles, and processes, in theory and practice.

This roundtable brought together editors and authors of the book, as well as a discussant, to discuss, in interaction with the audience, the main insights and implications of the book. What's new here? How can these reimaginings make a difference? How to move forward?
Period28 Jun 2023
Event titleDevelopment Studies Association Conference 2023: Crisis in the Anthropocene: Rethinking connection and agency for development
Event typeConference
LocationReading, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational