Browsing by Subject "NGO"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-6 of 6
  • Voorsluis, Nina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Tiivistelmä – Referat – Abstract In this Master’s thesis I investigate Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) involvement, experiences and outcomes in Madagascar, including the limiting and enabling factors for impact of conservation interventions driven by NGOs. The focal point of the research is the lived experiences from the field, including identification of processes and forces shaping the preconditions for NGO interventions. As part of the research I explore experiences of NGOs from their interventions and from engaging with local communities, government, policy makers and other NGOs in Madagascar. Many NGOs are active in biodiversity hotspots like Madagascar, but evaluation outcomes and lessons learned tend not to be extensively shared across organizations and thematic focus areas. This in turn affects preconditions to influence outcome determinants not only in isolated interventions but also across organizational borders. This study aims to define the situation and the issues faced by NGOs in Madagascar to suggest how the landscape could be navigated to improve the preconditions for long term intervention impact. The purpose is not to evaluate specific projects, but to assess the mechanisms through which the NGO sector can make a significant contribution to conservation, as well as the challenges in doing so. As the analysis seeks to broaden and contextualize the discussion of NGO involvement in conservation interventions, the theoretical framework for the research is based on theory on Non-Governmental Organizations and grounded theory. The theoretical framework facilitates the analysis of the findings, understanding of the results, as well as structuring and highlighting new insights. The theory is complemented with a background assessment of the environmental context in Madagascar, reviewing other research on conservation and its challenges in the country. This helps to understand the dimensions of the challenges, as well as the avenues open for exploration. Insights are gathered from representatives of long-term in situ NGOs to better understand the wider playing field in which they operate. The empirical research is based on semi-structured interviews conducted with 21 representatives from 12 international and local NGOs working with biodiversity conservation in Madagascar. The data was transcribed and analyzed through thematic network analysis and constructivist grounded theory analysis. The interviews were combined with a literature review, a group interview, a field visit to a project site, and more informal conversations with academic researchers and experts in the field. As part of the study, a two-week field trip to Madagascar was undertaken. To present the findings from this research, thematic categorizations were used to illustrate factors that affect outcomes of conservation interventions driven by NGOs. The categories are related to internal organization specific factors, cooperation with other actors (including other NGOs, government and actors in the local communities), as well as the Malagasy environment and politics (including government, laws and policies). The findings reveal challenges especially with systematic coordination of NGO interventions, NGO evaluation practices, resources, as well as issues with implementing sustainable community involvement in project design and decision making. Local community involvement is considered important, but in practice is not fully scaled up and inclusive in terms of decision making and consistent involvement. Findings indicate that the cooperation between NGOs and their key stakeholders works reasonably well from the NGO perspective, but still has potential to be better utilized in order to improve long-term sustainability. Consideration of external constraints is important to assess the potential of different types of interventions and approaches, allowing NGOs to focus their efforts according to the context and their capacities. While acknowledging and navigating the diversity of viewpoints, it is essential to be aware of the impact of structural challenges, the political complexity and the often-conflicting interests between conservation, the commercial and extractive sector, as well as local livelihoods and practices. Findings indicate issues with policy implementation and harmonization, and with conservation prioritization and law enforcement by the government. Local and national ownership and leadership backing is seen as essential for biodiversity conservation, pushing for stronger leadership from within the society. My research provides insights, recommendations and conclusions from which NGOs and conservation actors can gain better understanding of factors impacting interventions, as well as on the Malagasy playing field and its dynamics. This can be helpful in order to capitalize on opportunities and counter challenges, focusing actions on areas that make a difference. The findings can also be of value to other biodiversity conservation researchers, funding agencies, associations, communities and government stakeholders specifically focused on Madagascar. The research may also benefit NGOs and conservation actors involved in other countries, which confront similar challenges concerning conservation, governance, NGO involvement and interventions.
  • Asikainen, Anastasia (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Five years after the passing of the 2012 Law on Foreign Agents in Russia this thesis contributes to new knowledge about the limitations the law has brought forward and the measures organisations have taken to work under this law. Furthermore, the limitations persisting in the Russian civil society will be discussed by reflecting the empirical findings to previous research and historical trajectories. This thesis focuses on the city of St. Petersburg from where nine experts were interviewed from nine different organisations. The research questions are; what are the expedients the organisations have taken to work under the Law on Foreign Agents and how do the organisations describe their work environment. This thesis also aims at identifying potentials for change using the empirical findings and the framework of a developmental model by Nonet & Selznick (2001). The interviews were conducted in St. Petersburg between June 2015 and January 2016. The methodological approach was qualitative case study and the method for analysing the empirical findings was inductive. Based on previous research, the thesis makes the following presumptions on which it aims to add new knowledge; the civil society in Russia in relatively weak, the legal institutions are not independent of politics and the state plays an active role in defining the boundaries civil society actors. Based on the findings the persistent limitations to the work of the NGOs include lack of public support, misunderstandings on the nature of their work due to foreign financing and/or cooperation with western organisations, lack of understanding for universal rights in general, organisations having problems working for their target groups and weak legal institutions. New limitations, which were brought forward by the Law on Foreign Agents include difficulties accessing foreign funding, self-censorship due to avoiding the work of the organisation to be categorised as political, limits for the organisations to collaborate with state officials, increased amount of bureaucracy, increased stress and fear and the division of the third sector into service-oriented and advocacy-oriented organisations. The emergent adaptations can be roughly divided into two main categories: means of legal proceedings or channeling the work of the organisation through new administrative bodies, such as charities, commercial entities or branches outside of Russia. These expedients also had a mixed character. One other adaptation was to close down the organisation and work in the form of a business or an initiative group, yet keeping the same objectives. The findings raise new questions about the forms organisations can take in repressive conditions and about civil society’s limits in general. The findings contribute to an updated overview of the organisations in St. Petersburg working under the Law on Foreign Agents and raise topical issues for further discussion and research.
  • Sinicato, Alice (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The present thesis consists of an ethnographic study of the encounter between an NGO and the local practices and epistemologies where it operates. Specifically, the thesis provides insights to what extent the NGO La Maison sans frontières takes into consideration the local practices, traditions, knowledge, and overall ecology of the community of Kuma Tsamé Totsi, in Togo. The study mainly focuses on three aspects that emerged during the research: time, hygiene, and upbringing practices, highlighting both incongruences and meeting points between the goals and operations of the NGO and the local ontologies and epistemologies. Given that the local community and the NGO enter in dialogue and develop new practices together, this thesis adopts the metaphor of ‘bridge’ for the NGO, indicating to what extent the local practices have agency on its operation and vice versa. Overall, the meeting of these different realities seems to be permeated by acceptance and understanding, creating a unique practical and organizational system. The encounter between La Maison sans frontières and this Togolese community seems to have created a middle ground between different cultures, where peoples together strive to bridge the gap in cultural diversity. The research study relies on qualitative methodology, comprising fieldwork and structured and semi-structured interviews. Fieldnotes in the form of written texts, photographs and videos have been taken during fieldwork and analysed through a qualitative data analysis software.
  • Granberg, Leo (State University of Veliky Novgorod, 2019)
  • Nousjoki, Josetta (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Tutkimukseni tavoite on selvittää, miten kansainvälisten yritysten pyrkimykset valvoa alihankintaketjujaan yhteiskuntavastuuvaatimuksin (code of conductit, sertifioinnit ja auditoinnit) vaikuttavat Kiinassa. Tutkin, miten Etelä-Kiinassa toimivat, työntekijöiden oikeuksien edistämiseen erikoistuneet työntekijäjärjestöt suhtautuvat vastuuvaatimuksiin. Kartoitan myös kiinalaista yritysvastuukäsitystä ja siihen liittyvää sääntelyä sekä selvitän, miten työntekijäjärjestöt toimivat. Tutkimukseni on kvalitatiivinen kartoitus, joka perustuu akateemisiin artikkeleihin ja teemahaastatteluihin. Kirjallinen aineisto on pääasiassa englanninkielisiä artikkeleita 2010-luvulta. Empiirisen aineiston keräsin haastattelemalla kahta hongkongilaista järjestöä vuonna 2017. Teoreettisena viitekehyksenä on Schererin ja Palazzon poliittisen yritysvastuun teoria. Tulokset osoittavat, että vastuullisuusvaatimukset ja niihin liittyvät auditoinnit eivät ole parantaneet, mutta eivät myöskään huonontaneet työntekijöiden mahdollisuuksia puolustaa omia etujaan. Työntekijäjärjestöt pitävät suurena ongelmana sitä, ettei työntekijöillä ole oikeutta vapaasti järjestäytyä tai neuvotella työehdoista. Tulokset vahvistavat aiempia havaintoja siitä, että vastuullisuusjärjestelmillä on vaikea puuttua työelämän perusoikeuksien toteutumiseen. Yritysvastuun käsite on Kiinassa tuontitavaraa eikä se ole täysin löytänyt paikkaansa taloudessa, joka on siirtynyt sosialismista äärimmäisen kilpailtuun valtiojohtoiseen markkinatalouteen. Valtio on lainannut länsimaista yritysvastuukäsitystä retoriikkaansa ja lainsäädäntöönsä, ja pyrkii sille soveltuvin osin valmentamaan kiinalaisia vientiyrityksiä ottamaan huomioon kansainvälisiä yritysvastuun periaatteita. Kiinalaisissa yrityksissä länsimaisia vaatimuksia on vastustettu eikä kovin moni yritys vaikuta integroineen vastuuajattelua toimintaansa. Alueelliset ja toimialakohtaiset erot ovat kuitenkin suuria. Elinkeinoelämä on luonut omia vastuullisuusstandardeja. Ristiriitoja autoritaarisen puoluejohdon näkemysten ja länsimaisen vastuuajattelun välille syntyy erityisesti vapauksien ja oikeuksien alueella.
  • Sätre, Ann-Mari; Varyzgina, Alla; Granberg, Leo (2020)
    This article considers how Russian local civic organizations work and adapt to societal changes. We studied thirteen small NGOs in a region (oblast) of central Russia. These NGOs work with social issues, often connected to poverty and social marginalization. The NGOs are both formal and informal organiza-tions, such as charity funds, registered associations, informal clubs, and local groups for mutual help and support. The NGOs have varying relations to the wider public, as well as to Russian authorities. Examining the local level means here urban or rural settlements and small towns. Social issues were a subject of concern for numerous local organizations. Their success in this activity was connected to trust in them among citizens. The overall picture is that a lot depended on the reputation of a leading person at the NGO. There were not many signs of internal democracy or collective decision-making in these NGOs, strategic decisions were mostly taken by the leader. The Russian State has launched a contradictory policy on NGOs including legislation on 'foreign agents,' which means that NGOs are living in a 'dual reality': locally acting non-governmental and/or non-commercial organizations are both welcomed to contribute to solving social problems and increasingly controlled. This has caused problems for many NGOs which have, however, proved flexibility to survive. Quite a few reorganized their activities, some started deeper collabora-tion with other NGOs, the local administration or the church. The study gives more evidence of charity as the main method of helping people rather than activating them.