CHAPTER 2 – LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter provides a literature review on the impact of NGOs in socio-economic development of rural communities. Firstly it provides literature on the concepts regarding NGOs including its definitions, types and activities. The conception of rural community is also described in this chapter to suit the intent of the study. Challenges facing NGOs have also been outlined in this chapter and politics and state-civil society relations in Zimbabwe. The researcher also took cognisance of reviewing literature on the role of NGOs in promoting socio-economic development in rural communities across the sphere. Also reviewed were the strategies that the NGOs use in planning and development of projects for the rural communities and lastly this chapter discusses theoretical framework.
2.1 DEFINING NGOs
Ramakrishna (2013) states that NGOs are difficult to define and classify, as the term ‘NGO’ is used consistently. As a result, there are many different definitions in use”. NGOs are defined as not for profit organization which intend to transform or improve the lives of people. Ventakatanath (2009) defines Non-Governmental Organisation as a non-profit, social service voluntary organisation of community, persons, volunteers, civilians and citizens. Non-governmental organizations have a history dating back from 1839 and it have been estimated that by 1914, there were 1083 NGOs in the world (Ramakrishna, 2013). Ramakrishna further argue that the phrase “non-governmental organization” became widely used during the establishment of the United Nations Organization (UN) in 1945. Martens and Seitz, (2015) acknowledge that the roots of modern humanity can be traced back from the beginning of the 20th century in the United States when business tycoons like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie set up the first large American foundations, primarily as a way to shield some of their income from taxation but also as a way to garner prestige and influence in the United States of America (USA) and world affairs.
Martens and Seitz (2015) further posits that a lot of NGOs’ funds emanate from the American foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Martens and Seitz, (2015) indicates that these foundations have been influential actors in global development, not only through their grant-making but also by shaping development concepts and policies, particularly in the areas of socio-economic development. Shivji (2007) substantiate that NGOs are led by and largely composed by the educated elite and they are usually located in urban areas. Rural areas are only the operational grounds for accessing funding and acquiring information needed in drafting reports and concepts to be used in the search for donor’s activities.
2.2 TYPES OF NGOs
The fall of the Soviet led to the rise and increase of NGOs in the civil society making it a vogue around 1980. Shivji (2007), identified three types of NGOs which have led to the continued domination of the colonial mode in a different form called globalisation. However, the Career Services Centre (2011) have categorised NGOs into three broad range depending on each organisation activities. Firstly there is; radical elite NGO which is concerned with change and transformation of political issues but it is not necessarily involved in the partisan politics but take opportunity to express themselves and advocates for change. An example of such NGO is of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP).
Secondly is charity organisations which are normally driven by passion and altruistic motive of transforming the lives of other fellow citizen. These kind of NGOs are morally driven and an expertise example is that of World Vision. A third category is the careerist driven one, this type of NGO is mainly composed of the former government employees who have observed that funding is being directed into the civil society. Shivji (2007) cited that this type of NGO is driven by material gains and personally motivated. These types of NGOs are formed after discovering that jobs in the government or public sector are difficult to come by.
2.3 RURAL COMMUNITY
The concept of a rural community has been one complicated issue in the human development aspect and even for policy makers as they embark on designing policies meant for such places. However, for this research a rural community can be defined as a place with limited access to opportunities, essential services and administration. Mondal (2015) explains that rural communities are derived privileges to access socio-economic amenities such as social services and fail to enjoy the rights of being citizens due to negligence by the administrations panels of the government.
Picketty (2014) quoted by Scoones (2015) explains that poverty remains rife in rural communities, its effects have accumulated and continues to obstruct such communities which have further increased the gap differences between the rural and urban. Zimbabwe have been in riddle of economic instability since the beginning of the second millennium. The constitution of Zimbabwe of 2013 which is the first constitution to be drafted by Zimbabweans since 1980 stipulates the need to serve citizens with basic services, including educational and health facilities, water, roads, social amenities and electricity to marginalised areas (GoZ, 2013) which is a pre-requisite in the development area.
Oxfam (2009) posits that Zimbabwe have experienced under investment and experienced loss of skilled labour due to economic decline in the past decade mainly due to an economic downturn. The health and education sectors were adversely affected with people succumbing to cholera and other epidemic diseases, while the quality of education was compromised, which was justified by the growing numbers of school dropouts and low pass rates in primary and secondary schools (GoZ, 2013). Such conditions have been prevalent and orchestrated in rural communities due to the low or zero income status.