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Cover Poverty and Development

4. Agencies of Development  

Duncan Green and Tom Kirk

This chapter evaluates agencies of development, which can be split into three broad categories: state, societal, and international actors and organizations. These categories should be understood to be overlapping and fluid. Indeed, few actors or organizations can be said to be purely international, of the state or society. Instead, most belong to and operate across multiple spheres of activity. Moreover, this boundary crossing is increasingly a requirement to get things done. Accordingly, the chapter pays attention to how different agencies interact with one another, legitimizing and delegitimizing different understandings of development in the process. It also shows how development is often driven by broad coalitions of actors and organizations working together, however contentiously, towards collective goals. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of emerging ways of understanding and doing development that acknowledge and incorporate this approach.