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Aid Architecture – Reflections on NGDO Futures and the Emergence of Counter-Terrorism

1 January 2005

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Aid Architecture – Reflections on NGDO Futures and the Emergence of Counter-Terrorism

Non-governmental organisations involved in international development face unprecedented conditions that call for thoughtful responses. Three major dynamics are combining to shape policy and operating environments. First, in a relatively unstable and insecure world order, NGOs must deal with demands generated by a comprehensive, interlocking architecture of international aid. A second set of pressures stem from developments within civil societies. The uncertain, interactive effects of all these evolutionary factors are now compounded by the abrupt and still emerging impact of counter-terrorism measures (CTM) on civil liberties and human rights in general and on aid policy and practices in particular. The consequences of donor and NGO compliance with CTM laws, policies, rules and procedures are likely to be unevenly distributed and potentially unchallengeable. CTM carries implications for change in NGDO behaviour and relationships, preliminary signs of which are identified. This paper unpacks and analyses key dimensions of contextual dynamics. The results are used to identify issues and critical questions that NGOs could be asking about their futures and choices.


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