Thesis subject

How can development organizations speak for others?

How do Dutch development organizations construct their role as advocates speaking out for others - and the legitimacy of that role?


Many Dutch development organizations like Oxfam, Cordaid and Hivos carry out advocacy to advance the interests of people in lower and lower middle income countries. But what makes this role legitimate, in their own eyes? Do they consider themselves to be representing people? Acting in solidarity? On the basis of universal values? In other words? What gives them the right to speak out? And how does the way that they think about this influence the role they seek to play?

Type of research

Interviews with NGO staff, document analysis. This is qualitative research.

What kind of student?

Interest in development and its political dimensions, interest in communication and qualitative research