Navigating the dilemmas of politically smart, locally led development: the Pacific-based Green Growth Leaders’ Coalition

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  • La Trobe Univ


Iterative approaches to development under banners such as ‘thinking and working politically’ and ‘doing development differently’ build upon decades-old commitments to fostering locally led and -owned development. These approaches are increasingly popular with academics and development practitioners. In this paper we argue that outsiders seeking to deliver locally led, politically smart programmes need to either accept that competing priorities, results and values will work to limit the extent of true local ownership, or be sufficiently committed to true local leadership to accept that this may well cut against organisational imperatives. Using the example of the Pacific-based Green Growth Leaders’Coalition, we discuss how politically tricky partnerships challenge tenets of local leadership and ownership.


Original languageEnglish
JournalThird World Quarterly
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 May 2020