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NOVEMBER 2015: NGOs and Nonprofits Conference: “NGO-graphies”
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11/17/2015 to 11/18/2015
When: 11/17/2015

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2015 NGOs and Nonprofits Conference: “NGO-graphies”

Denver, Colorado, USA

November 17-18, 2015


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As non-governmental organizations (NGOs) take on roles and responsibilities that were traditionally in the hands of national governments, power has become increasingly denationalized and embedded in new configurations. While the scales of these mediations, service provisions, and representations have typically been categorized as local-regional-national-international, networks of NGOs now connect organizations at the grassroots directly to large-scale, transnational systems. An important aspect of the work of NGOs is to create a shared understanding of their roles and missions in relation to these resource chains, constructing the meaning of their work in relation to values and goals that circulate locally, nationally, and transnationally. Yet as Bebbington[1] notes, the conditions of poverty that development NGOs seek to address have been created through preexisting structures of colonial extraction, capitalist expansion, and consumption and production; a legacy that leaves these NGO net-works unevenly dispersed, clustering in areas of perceived need and becoming sparse in regions without the infrastructure required to support them. The term “NGO-graphy”[2] calls for a critical ethnographic approach to understanding non-governmental organizations and nonprofits. It also suggests a topographic image of NGO networks that both interact with and create human landscapes.


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