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Short-sighted donors' development strategy by circumventing responsible state agencies
Forest Policy and Economics  (IF3.673),  Pub Date : 2021-09-10, DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2021.102593
Md Saifur Rahman, Pradip Kumar Sarker, Max Krott, Lukas Giessen

The influence of foreign donors and their development politics on domestic development policies has been an important research topic in the field of development studies. Lately, foreign donors have changed their strategy in forest-related development activities by substantially involving non-state actors. As a foreign donor, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has introduced the forest co-management development concept, altering or initiating important policy and institutional settings in Bangladesh. A mixed qualitative-quantitative method and the case of the USAID-induced forest co-management development model were employed to analyze the development strategy of a donor in a recipient country, based on the main interests of the donor. USAID accomplished their development tasks by substantially involving non-state actors. This approach circumvents responsible state agencies, causing severe long-term risks for sustainable forest development. Such non-state actors, including NGOs and civil society organisations, might provide crucial field access and contribute innovative ideas for better solutions in the short term. However, this strategy can weaken the responsible state agencies within the contexts of already limited state capacity in recipient countries in the long run. The study recommends a solution towards a balanced partnership among state agencies, donor agencies and non-state actors.