though i have read several of david booth‘s papers on country ownership, i appreciate craig valters pointing me (conversation here) to booth’s joint work with sue unsworth on doing development in ways that are politically smart and locally led. the whole paper is worth a read. this paragraph stood out:
the question of local leadership is not about the nationality of front-line actors; nor is it about donor agency staff not being involved in the process. it is about relationships in which aid money is not the primary motivator of what is done or a major influence on how it is done… the starting point is a genuine effort to seek out existing capacities, perceptions of problems and ideas about solutions, and to enter into some sort of relationship with leaders who are motivated to deploy these capabilities.