CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN CAMEROON " Assessing the role of CSOs in Development"

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för samhällsstudier (SS)

Abstract: With the present level of poverty, growing inequality and the inability to provide public goods, some developing countries to an extent have turned to CSOs as an alternative solution for the much-needed sustenance. This study examines the contribution of CSOs in development and is carried out in Cameroon against the backdrop of inadequate infrastructures, low household income, generalized poverty and tense political atmosphere that could trigger inclusive policies and practices to enable peace and development prevail. In as much as the debate on the legitimacy, representativeness and the shrinking spaces of CSOs remains, this research addresses the role of CSOs in the development process of Cameroon and argues that within the context of poverty alleviation, climate change and democracy promotion CSOs can be active partners in development. For, when the state-centred approach to development fails or becomes inadequate, the acknowledgement that non-state actors can play a vital and indispensable role in the development dispensation of countries becomes an option for consideration. In developing my argument, two theories inherent within the Civil society scholarship, political participation and participatory development were applied to demonstrate how CSOs participate, the kind of relationship existing between CSOs, the state and the private sector for meaningful development to prevail was explored and analysed. Findings indicate, CSOs to an extent, significantly participate in enhancing development despite some constraints. The study was carried out as a qualitative abductive case study using remote qualitative interviews. The raison d’etre for the use of remote interviews was as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and has been explained appropriately in the qualitative design method. However, other sources of data explored for the fulfilment of the thesis included documentation from secondary sources, grey literature, CSOs, government and international organisations documentations. Empirically this study draws from existing literature especially from Cameroon and Peace and development studies.

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