“Substantial Mutuality”: The Road to Trust between NGOs’ stakeholders
Keywords:multi-level governance, non-governmental organisations, leadership-as-proces, trust, development agendas
Multi-level governance materialises in the chain of influence between donors, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), local partners and beneficiaries. This stepped relationship is often characterised by a degree of mutual mistrust and by divergent interests. It exists in a realm between formal highly bureaucratised and standardised development systems coupled with ineffective management practices, short-term agendas and lack of interpersonal relations, which undermine the creation of mutuality between the former and mostly informal stakeholders at the receiving end. This enquiry on “leadership as process” examines the role of NGOs in creating “substantial” mutuality in this chain of relationships. The data collected showed that there is a gap between upstream (donors and NGOs) objectives and the context in which they operate. The study concludes that by establishing mutuality and ownership NGOs can bridge the gap and limitations of the current system.
Keyword: multi-level governance; non-governmental organisations; leadership-as-process; trust; development agendas