Patronage or Partnership: Local Capacity Building in Humanitarian Crises

Hardcover (Print)


* A refreshing study of capacity building through various local perspectives
* Includes studies from Mozambique, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Haiti, and Guatemala

Strengthening local capacity is more difficult than one might expect; there are significant trade-offs between outsiders providing assistance in the midst of an emergency, and encouraging the building of long-term local skills. By critically examining the dilemma from local perspectives, Patronage or Partnership finds genuine hope amidst the prevailing rhetoric and confusion.

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Editorial Reviews

Bringing critical attention to the common tendency of relief programs to rely on funding, management, and labor from outside the affected area, these eight chapters examine the dynamics of these programs, the possibility of designing efforts to use and develop local skills, and the challenges and tradeoffs of each approach. Case studies from Mozambique, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Haiti, and Guatemala are all included. Contributors include relief workers, scholars of international relations, and journalists. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"One of the best works to emerge from the distinguished history of the Humanitarianism and War Project... Without exception, excellent case studies—as a matter of fact, some of the best I have ever seen. There is just enough background, great empirical detail, critical and insightful analysis, often from a local perspective and interesting general lessons. It is rare I read six case studies with anything but increasing boredom, but this volume manages to make the cases interesting, well-written and highly relevant."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565491304
  • Publisher: Kumarian Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Smillie is an Ottawa-based development consultant and writer. He has lived and worked widely in Africa and Asia, and his knowledge of Bangladesh spans more than three decades. Author of several books on international development, he was a founder of the Canadian development organization, Inter Pares, and was Executive Director of CUSO. In addition to his other work, he is associated with the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University and serves as Research Coordinator on Partnership Africa Canada's 'Diamonds and Human Security Project'. He is a participant in the intergovernmental 'Kimberley Process,' which has developed a global certification system for rough diamonds.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Capacity Building and the Humanitarian Enterprise 7
2 Reconstructing Bosnia, Constructing Civil Society: Disjuncture and Convergence 25
3 Alternative Food Aid Strategies and Local Capacity Building in Haiti 51
4 Rebuilding Local Capacities in Mozambique: The National Health System and Civil Society 77
5 Means without End: Humanitarian Assistance in Sri Lanka 107
6 Women's Organizations in Guatemalan Refugee and Returnee Populations 131
7 Sierra Leone: Peacebuilding in Purgatory 157
8 From Patrons to Partners? 175
Abbreviations 195
Select Bibliography 199
About the Contributors 203
Index 205
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