Partnership for Whom?
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Summary The article examines in what sense various donors understand and interpret the term ‘partnership’ and whether relations between local NGOs and their donors actually fulfill the meaning of this term in Cambodia. The article contrasts supporting schemes to NGOs by Japanese government aid, by Oxfam Great Britain and Coopération Internationale pour 1e Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE). The question posed is: which scheme and conditions appear to promote partnership better, especially in terms of accountability to the ultimate target beneficiaries? The post?genocidal civil war in Cambodia seriously damaged any notion of community. Consequently, evidence indicates that donors that assist the capacity?building of Cambodian NGOs and those particularly concerned with community organising are more likely to establish a relationship and assistance that is more accountable to the beneficiaries. They do so by basing ‘partnership’ on an organisational rather than project?focused relationship with Cambodian NGOs and communities. On the other hand, it appears that donors that do not support the capacity?building of Cambodian NGOs, but only support project implementation, lack interest in ensuring accountability of their projects to the poor. Such an approach to partnership is more prone to making both international and local NGOs accountable to donors as project implementors, rather than to their partners and their beneficiaries.