Association pour l’anthropologie du changement social et du développement
Association for the anthropology of social change and development

The NGOisation of Education. Case Studies from Benin.

Sarah Fichtner, 2012.
The NGOisation of education has emerged both as a driving mechanism and as a consequence of the globalisation of public services that increased tremendously during the peak of neoliberal global governance in the long 1980s. Currently, NGOs’ development aid in the field of education involves primarily the promotion, marketing, and management of global models, norms and standards, and to a much lesser extent the provision of resources and services to ‘the poor’. This development-driven promotion of norms, i.e., shared, evaluative expectations of behaviour regarding how beneficiaries of aid should develop and manage their own development, takes place at the very heart of the state as well as at its margins. Based on four case studies from the West African country of Benin, Sarah Fichtner examines the processes of the NGOisation of education from an empirical perspective. She provides a counter-perspective to essentialist and exoticising essays on the African state, as well as to econometric and world-culturalist approaches to education in the Global South.