Do community-based organizations have an image problem?

Posted July 31, 2011 from United States

I give lots of thought to what makes community-based organizations and women's groups the lowest common denominator in development aid. Readers of may already be familiar with previous arguments I’ve offered for the increased inclusion of and investment in community-based organizations (CBOs). As an ardent proponent of CBOs’ comparative advantages, I believe they have a better chance of being driven by “the community” than other development actors and also can be more nimble, responsive, and sustainable.

So why is so many local organizations’ work disregarded, derided, and even ignored in the development aid sector? Despite all the talk of local ownership and interdependence among aid partners, what is it that continues to disadvantage community-based groups in the development discourse?

One explanation may be that, despite their unique and all-important capacities, CBOs have an image problem. Take for instance, this video...

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