Achieving co-operation in an aid-funded development network organisation (DNO): lessons for development practitioners

SOURCE: The European Journal of Development Research
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2015
TITLE AUTHOR(S): I.Petersen
KEYWORDS: AID POLICY, CAPACITY BUILDING, DEVELOPMENT, DEVELOPMENT NETWORK ORGANISATIONS (DNOS), FUNDING
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9021

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Abstract

New 'networked' organisational forms that are mission-driven and characterised by high levels of interconnectivity and interdependence are becoming popular in the field of development. This article focuses on one type of 'networked' organisational form, 'development network organisations' (DNOs). It is argued that DNOs could be used to accelerate development, but this depends on the achievement of effective co-operation in the DNO, which is a major challenge in these types of networks. Using mixed-methods social network analysis, the article identifies facilitators and barriers to achieving co-operation in a DNO that consisted of a publicly funded university in Mozambique, an international NGO based in Africa and two Northern European universities working together to develop optometry capacity in Mozambique. Processes essential for achieving co-operation in DNOs are identified negotiating a common mission and shared meanings and network institutions, and effective social skill highlighting ways to improve the management of development in practice.