Chapter 13: Civil society's positionality in new development chains: insights from the land and mining sectors in Tanzania
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Joanny Bélair & Thabit Jacob explore the positionality of civil society organisations (CSOs) in initiatives to make investments in land and mining more inclusive. They analyse the subject at both the national (influencing policy) and local (empowerment) level. Their findings underline the importance of local context in steering the scope and outcomes of civil society initiatives. The rise of civil society movements as such can be seen as a translocal flow of ideas and organisation models spreading around much of the globe and being reinterpreted locally. The realities of operating in Tanzania is that CSOs have to balance a difficult position between the need for foreign resources (funding) and local priorities, while on the ground their room for manoeuvring is constrained by having to balance donor expectations, their position nationally as legitimate partners in development debates, and the perspectives of local communities that are not necessarily aligned. Key questions remains whether and how CSOs can emancipate themselves from their ‘top down’ dependency relations, renegotiate their positionality and what would then be their political potential to foster sustainable and inclusive ‘bottom up’ development’.

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