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The Charitable Impulse: NGOs and Development in East and North East Africa

Ondine Barrow and Michael Jennings, editors
The Charitable Impulse: NGOs and Development in East and North East Africa
ISBN: 978-1-56549-138-0
2002/224 pages
A Kumarian Press Book
"One of the strengths of the book is that it covers different types of NGOs that vary from each other in terms of their operations, structures and orientations.... It is essential reading and a useful tool for teaching."—Gaim Kibreab, African Affairs

"This collection draws together the experiences of the NGO community within the region covered and raises key questions concerning the implications and consequences of intervention. The case studies are detailed and engaging, highlighting the need for greater levels of accountability to exist between NGOs and the societies in which they serve."—Rebecca Moran, Journal of Modern African Studies


Enriching our understanding of the "NGO industry," the authors inform the debate on the relief-to-development continuum and provide historical context for the key issues facing NGOs today. Each chapter presents a case study based on extensive fieldwork in east or northeast Africa, identifying and analyzing the roots of past and current problems.


Michael Jennings is senior lecturer in the Department of Development Studies at the University of London. Ondine Barrow is based in Oxford in the United Kingdom.


  • Introduction: The Charitable Impulse—the Editors.
  • A Glossary for New Samaritans—P. Winter.
  • Humanitarian Politics in Collapsed States A Critical Appraisal of the Role of International NGOs in the Somali Crisis—A. Yannis.
  • International Responses to Famine in Ethiopia, 1983-85: Christian Aid and a Political Economy Framework for Action—O. Barrow.
  • Creating Alternatives Refugee Relief and Local Development in Western Tanzania—B.E. Whitaker.
  • "Trying to Hold Things Together?" International NGOs Caught Up in an Emergency in North-Western Uganda, 1996-97—M. Leopold.
  • "Development Is Very Political in Tanzania": Oxfam and the Chunya Integrated Development Programme, 1972-76—M. Jennings.
  • Donors, NGOs, and the State: Governance and "Civil Society" in Tanzania—T. Kelsall.
  • Drawing a Line Between Autonomy and Governance: The State, Civil Society, and NGOs in Ethiopia—J. Campbell.
  • Whose Medicine Counts? Health, Healers, and WHO in Kenya—K. Johnson.
  • Organisational and Institutional Learning in the Humanitarian Sector—K. van Brabant.