Advertisement

Comparing NGO Resilience and ‘Structures of Opportunity’ in South Africa and Zimbabwe (2010–2013)

  • Tariro MutongwizoEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

African non-governmental organisations undergo various shifts in order to cope with diverse challenges. This article takes a longitudinal case study approach to analyse the identities and resilience of a small sample of NGOs in South Africa and Zimbabwe between 2009 and 2013. This article will rely on time period and the nature of the state in each site as independent variables. The nuances brought on by the different time periods and each organisation’s profile, and the two countries where the NGOs are set, are significant for contributing to the literature on the fluid and adaptive nature of African NGOs in their bid for survival. Through exploring these four diverse NGOs in the two states and time period where new challenges and opportunities are presented, the article will also highlight the variety of challenges and strategies each NGO engaged with when confronting crises specific to their settings and the identities each NGO adopted when developing and shifting their agendas.

Keywords

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Africa State Adaptation Time period 

Résumé

Les organisations non gouvernementales (ONG) africaines subissent de nombreux changements dans le but de faire face à des défis variés. Le présent article adopte une approche d’étude de cas longitudinale pour analyser, de 2009 à 2013, les identités et la résilience d’un petit échantillon d’ONG de l’Afrique du Sud et du Zimbabwe. Il utilisera la période de temps et la nature de l’État de chaque site comme variables indépendantes. Les nuances créées par les différentes périodes et le profil de chaque organisation, ainsi que par les deux pays où se trouvent les ONG, sont suffisamment importantes pour contribuer à la documentation actuelle sur la nature fluide et adaptative des ONG africaines qui luttent pour leur survie. En étudiant quatre ONG diversifiées des deux États et une période durant laquelle de nouveaux défis et de nouvelles occasions se sont présentés, l’article fera aussi la lumière sur la variété de problèmes et de stratégies auxquels chaque ONG est confrontée en cas de crises spécifiques à sa vocation, ainsi que sur les identités adoptées par chacune pour élaborer et transformer ses programmes.

Zusammenfassung

Afrikanische Nichtregierungsorganisationen machen verschiedene Veränderungen durch, um diverse Herausforderungen zu bewältigen. Dieser Beitrag analysiert mit Hilfe einer Längsschnitt-Fallstudie die Identitäten und die Widerstandsfähigkeit an einer kleinen Stichprobe von NROs in Südafrika und Simbabwe im Zeitraum von 2009 bis 2013. Man stützt sich auf Zeitraum und Charakter des Staates eines jeden Standorts als unabhängige Variablen. Die Nuancen aufgrund der unterschiedlichen Zeiträume und Organisationsprofile sowie die beiden Länder, in denen die NROs ansässig sind, sind signifikant für den Beitrag zur Literatur zum flüssigen und adaptiven Charakter afrikanischer NROs in ihrem Kampf ums Überleben. Anhand einer Untersuchung dieser vier verschiedenen NROs in den beiden Ländern und Zeitperioden, in denen sich neue Herausforderungen und Chancen präsentieren, stellt der Beitrag auch die unterschiedlichen Herausforderungen und Strategien einer jeden NRO im Umgang mit Krisen heraus, die im konkreten Zusammenhang mit ihren Rahmenbedingungen standen, und hebt die Identitäten der NROs hervor, welche sie bei der Entwicklung und Änderung ihrer Agenden annahmen.

Resumen

Las Organizaciones No Gubernamentales africanas experimentan diversos cambios con el fin de hacer frente a diferentes desafíos. El presente artículo toma un enfoque longitudinal de estudio de caso para analizar las identidades y la resiliencia de una pequeña muestra de ONG en Sudáfrica y Zimbabue entre 2009 y 2013. El presente artículo se basará en el período de tiempo y en la naturaleza del estado en cada lugar como variables independientes. Los matices aportados por los diferentes períodos de tiempo y el perfil de cada organización, y los dos países en los que las ONG están establecidas son significativos por su contribución al material publicado sobre la naturaleza fluida y adaptable de las ONG africanas en su apuesta por la supervivencia. Mediante la exploración de estas cuatro ONG diferentes en los dos estados y en el período de tiempo en los que se presentan nuevos desafíos y oportunidades, el artículo también subrayará la variedad de desafíos y estrategias en las que se implicó cada ONG al enfrentarse a crisis específicas de sus escenarios y las identidades que cada ONG adoptó al desarrollar y cambiar sus agendas.

Chinese

非洲非盈利组织正在经历各种转变,从而应对不同的挑战。本文采用了横向案例研究方法,以分析2009年至2013年之间的少量南非和津巴布韦NGO样本的身份和弹性。本文将依赖于每个现场的时间周期和国家性质作为独立变量。不同的时间段和每个组织的配置,以及NGO所在的两个国家带来的细微差别对努力保证生存的非洲NGO流动性和适应性质的文献贡献非常重要。通过探讨这两个国家的四家不同NGO,以及出现新挑战和机会的时间段,本文还将重点介绍每个NGO为应对环境特定的危机时所面临的挑战和采取的策略,以及每家NGO在制定和转换日程时采用的身份。

Japanese

アフリカの非営利組織は多様な問題に対処するために、様々な変化を試みてきた。本論文では、縦断的事例研究のアプローチを用いて、2009年から2013年までの南アフリカ共和国とジンバブエのNGOのサンプルにおけるアイデンティティと回復について分析する。本論文は、独立変数のそれぞれの場における状況と期間によるものである。異なる期間とそれぞれの組織の輪郭を提示して、NGOが設立された2カ国にとっては生き残りのためにアフリカのNGOの流動性と適応性は文献に寄与する上で重要である。2カ国における4つのNGOと提示される新しい問題と機会を調査することによって、本論文では、NGOが指針を変えた場合、特に設立における危機とそれぞれのNGOが採用するアイデンティティにおける危機に直面する場合、それぞれのNGOが直面する多くの問題と戦略を強調する。

Arabic

المنظمات الافريقية الغير حكومية تخضع لتحولات مختلفة من أجل مواجهة التحديات المتنوعة. تأخذ هذه المقالة نهج دراسة الحالة الطولي لتحليل الهويات ومرونة عينة صغيرة من المنظمات الغير حكومية في جنوب أفريقيا وزيمبابوي بين عامي 2009 و 2013. هذه المقالة سوف تعتمد على الفترة الزمنية وطبيعة الحالة في كل موقع كمتغيرات مستقلة. الفروق الناتجة عن فترات زمنية مختلفة ولمحة مختصرة لكل منظمة، والبلدين حيث يتم تحديد المنظمات الغير حكومية الهامة للمساهمة في الأدب على طبيعة السوائل والتكيف من المنظمات الغير حكومية الأفريقية في سعيها من أجل البقاء. من خلال إكتشاف هذه المنظمات الغير حكومية الأربعة المتنوعة في البلدين والفترة الزمنية حيث تم عرض التحديات والفرص الجديدة، فإن المقالة تسلط الضوء أيضا” على مجموعة متنوعة من التحديات وإستراتيجيات كل منظمة غير حكومية مشتركة معها عند مواجهة أزمات معينة إلى إعداداتها وهويات إعتمدت كل منظمة غير حكومية عند تطوير وتحويل جداول أعمالها.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This article has benefitted from the guidance of Professor Clifford Shearing from the Centre of Criminology, University of Cape Town. I would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. The financial assistance of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the University for Peace—International Development Research Centre (UPEACE-IDRC) towards this research is hereby gratefully acknowledged.

Funding

The study was funded by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) through the Doctoral Scholarship Program, and the University for Peace and International Development Research Centre (UPEACE-IDRC) Doctoral Fellowship Awards.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Abdelrahman, M. (2001). State-civil society relations: The politics of Egyptian NGOs. PhD Thesis, ISS, The Hague.Google Scholar
  2. Ake, C. (2000). The feasibility of democracy in Africa. Dakar: CODESRIA.Google Scholar
  3. Babbie, E., & Mouton, J. (2006). The practice of social research. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Banks, N., Hume, D., & Edwards, M. (2015). NGOs, states, and donors revisited: Still too close for comfort? World Development, 66, 707–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bebbington, A. J., Hickey, S., & Mitlin, D. D. (Eds.). (2008). Can NGOs make a difference? The challenge of development alternatives. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  6. Chabal, P. (1986). Introduction. In P. Chabal (Ed.), Political domination in Africa: Reflections on the limits of power. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chabal, P., & Daloz, J.-P. (1999). Africa works: Disorder as political instrument. African issues. The International African institute, James Curry and Indiana University Press: Oxford and Bloomington.Google Scholar
  8. Chazan, N. (1994). Engaging the state: Associational life in sub-Saharan Africa. In J. S. Migdal, A. Kohli, & V. Shue (Eds.), State power and social forces: Domination and transformation in the Third World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Chapter 10).Google Scholar
  9. Costain, A. N. (1992). Inviting women’s rebellion. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Dicklitch, S. (1998). The elusive promise of NGOs in Africa lessons from Uganda. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dorman, S. R. (2001). Inclusion and exclusion: NGOs and politics in Zimbabwe. D.Phil thesis, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.Google Scholar
  12. Edwards, M. (2008). Have NGOs made a difference? From Manchester to Birmingham with an elephant in the room. In A. J. Bebbington, S. Hickey, & D. D. Mitlin (Eds.), Can NGOs make a difference? The challenge of development alternatives. London: Zed Books. (Chapter 2).Google Scholar
  13. Edwards, M., & Hume, D. (1996). Too close for comfort? The impact of official aid on nongovernmental organizations. World Development, 24(6), 961–973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Engler, M., & Engler, P. (2014). Can disruptive power create new social movements. 13 May 2014. http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/can-frances-fox-pivens-theory-disruptive-power-create-next-occupy/.
  15. Ferree, M. M. (1987). Equality and autonomy: Feminist politics in the United States and West Germany. In M. F. Katzenstein & C. Mueller (Eds.), The women's movements of the United States and Western Europe. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Harbeson, J. W., Rothschild, D., & Chazan, N. (Eds.). (1992). Civil society and the state in Africa. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  17. Heller, P. (2003). Reclaiming democratic spaces: Civics and politics in post-transition Johannesburg. In R. Beauregard & R. Tomlinson (Eds.), Emerging Johannesburg. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Igoe, J., & Kelsall, T. (2005). Between a rock and a hard place: African NGOs donors and the state. Durham: Carolina Academic Press.Google Scholar
  19. Ikelegbe, A. (2001). The perverse manifestation of civil society: Evidence from Nigeria. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 39(1), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. International Civil Society Centre (ICSC). (2013) Riding the Waves of Disruptive Change, International Civil Society Centre, Berlin. Accessed on 25 October 2016. http://icscentre.org/downloads/RidingTheWave_web_spreads.pdf.
  21. Joppke, C. (1991). Social movements during cycles of attention: The decline of the antinuclear energy movements in West Germany and the USA. The British Journal of Sociology, 42(1), 43–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kamstra, J., Pelzer, B., Elbers, W., & Ruben, R. (2016). Constraining is enabling? Exploring the influence of national context on civil society strength. Voluntas, 27(3), 1023–1044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kandil, A. (1998). The nonprofit sector in Egypt. In H. K. Anheier & L. M. Salamon (Eds.), The nonprofit sector in the developing world (pp. 122–157). Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kingsley, P. (2014). NGOs, doctors, and the patrimonial state—Tactics for political engagement in Nigeria. Critical African Studies, 6(1), 6–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kiondo, A. S. Z. (1993). Structural adjustment and non-governmental organisations in Tanzania: A case study. In P. Gibbon (Ed.), Social change and economic reform in Africa (pp. 161–183). Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.Google Scholar
  26. Leflar, J., & Siegel, M. (2013). Organizational resilience: Managing the risks of disruptive events: A practitioner’s guide. Boca Raton: Taylor and Francis.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lorgen, C. C. (1998). Dancing with the state: The role of NGOs in health care and health policy. Journal of International Development, 10(3), 323–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mamdani, M. (1990). ‘A glimpse at African studies, made in the USA. CODESRIA Bulletin, 2, 7–11.Google Scholar
  29. Mamdani, M. (1996). Citizen and subject—Contemporary Africa and the legacy of late colonialism. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  30. March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (2005). Elaborating the “new institutionalism”. In R. A. W. Rhodes, S. Binder, & B. Rockman (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of political institutions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Marks, M. (1995). Alternative policing structures? A look at youth defense structures in Gauteng in 1995. Research report written for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.Google Scholar
  32. McAdam, D. (1982). Political process and the development of black insurgency, 1930–1970. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. McAdam, D., McCarthy, J. D., & Zald, M. N. (Eds.). (1996). Comparative perspectives on social movements: Political opportunities, mobilizing structures, and cultural framings. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Migdal, J. S. (1988). Strong societies and weak states: State-society relations and state capabilities in the third world. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Ndegwa, S. N. (1996). The two faces of civil society: NGOs and politics in Africa. West Hartford: Kumarian Press.Google Scholar
  36. Nina, D. (1995). Re-thinking popular justice: Self-regulation and civil society in South Africa. Cape Town: Community Peace Foundation.Google Scholar
  37. Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. (1978). The external control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  38. Rakodi, C. (2001). Urban governance and poverty-addressing needs, asserting claims: An editorial introduction. International Planning Studies, 6(4), 343–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rosenau, J. N. (1980). The study of political adaptation: Essays on the analysis of world politics’. London: Frances Pinter.Google Scholar
  40. Rothschild, D., & Chazan, N. (Eds.). (1988). The precarious balance: State and society in Africa. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  41. Routley, L. (2012). NGOs and the formation of the public: Grey practices and accountability. African Affairs, 111(442), 116–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Salamon, L. M., & Anheier, H. K. (1998). Social origins of civil society: Explaining the non-profit sector cross-nationally. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 9(3), 213–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Semboja, J., & Therkildsen, O. (Eds.). (1995). Service provision under stress in East Africa. London: James Currey.Google Scholar
  44. Simone, A. (2001). Between ghetto and globe: Remaking urban life in Africa, Chapter 3 in Tostensten, A., Tvedten, I., and Vaa, M. (eds.), Associational life in African cities: Popular responses to the urban crisis. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.Google Scholar
  45. Sinwell, L. (2013). From Radical Movement to Conservative NGO and Back Again? A Case Study of the Democratic Left Front in South Africa, Chapter 4 in Choudry, A., and Kapoor, D. NGOization: Complicity, Contradictions and Prospects. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  46. Tarrow, S. (1989). Struggle, politics, and reform: Collective action, social movements, and cycles of protest. Occasional Paper No. 21, Western Societies Program, Center for International Studies, Cornell University.Google Scholar
  47. Tarrow, S. (1994). Power in movement: Social movements, collective action and politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Tilly, C. (1983). Big structures, large processes, huge comparisons. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  49. Townsend, J. G., & Townsend, A. R. (2004). Accountability, motivation and practice: NGOs north and south. Social and Cultural Geography, 5(2), 271–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tripp, A. M. (1992). Local organizations, participation and the state in Urban Tanzania. In M. Bratton & G. Hyden (Eds.), Governance in Africa (pp. 221–242). Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
  51. Wood, J. (2000). Reinventing governance: A case study of transformations in the Ontario Provincial Police. Doctoral Thesis, Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  52. Wood, J., & Shearing, C. (2003). Nodal governance, democracy, and the new “denizens”. Journal of Law and Society, 30, 400–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Yin, R. K. (1994). Case study research: Design and methods. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  54. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods (4th ed.). California: Sage.Google Scholar
  55. Zuern, E. K. (2011). The politics of necessity: Community organising and democracy in South Africa. Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Griffith Criminology InstituteGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations