Utveckling genom upphandling: Etik, identitet och vardaglig verksamhet inom vinstdrivande biståndsarbete

Tidsperiod: 2020-01-01 till 2022-12-31

Projektledare: Molly Sundberg

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 2 708 447 SEK

More than half of today’s official development assistance to developing countries goes to for-profit companies, mainly through the procurement of goods and services from firms in donor countries. This research project explores the nature and role of for-profit development contractors and what lies behind their growing influence in foreign aid. It specifically looks at the career movements of development professionals across consulting firms and public agencies and NGOs, in order to understand possible changes in the motivations and identification of aid workers. It also studies the social networks of professionals and how they may influence contractual relations. The purpose is three-fold: to generate comparative knowledge of non- and for-profit aid in contractual relations; to unravel the ways in which these two aid realms are intertwined; and to highlight the social dimensions of development contracting through ethnographic inquiry into everyday practices and professionals. The study also aims to advance anthropological theory of “Aidland.” It shifts focus from the personal lives of NGO workers and bureaucrats from donor countries, to the practices and relations among workers and organizations engaged in contractual work across two long-term partner countries, Sweden and Tanzania. Three main methods are used: interviews with aid workers, participant observation in consulting firms, and a multi-sited case study of the procurement and implementation of a contracted assignment