Limits to and opportunities for scaling participation:lessons from three city-wide urban poor networks in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Cawood, Sally (2021) Limits to and opportunities for scaling participation:lessons from three city-wide urban poor networks in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Environment and Urbanization, 33 (2). pp. 396-412. ISSN 0956-2478

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Abstract

In Dhaka, three urban poor networks play a central role in advocating for the rights and entitlements of low-income settlement residents. Despite their numerous achievements, this article outlines how attempts to scale participation via these networks are limited by three overlapping state–civil society processes: (1) the politicization and increased monitoring of non-governmental organizations (NGOs); (2) shifting donor preferences towards service delivery and the creation of new community-based organizations (CBOs); and (3) the ongoing dominance and paternalism of NGOs towards low-income settlement residents. By situating these findings within existing understandings of in/formal governance and political participation, it can be argued that attempts to scale may struggle to evade or transform deep structures of dependency, patronage and intermediation. Recognizing that scaling can and does occur under these conditions, the article outlines opportunities to support the city-wide networks and alternative forms of organizing, to address pressing needs and priorities.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environment and Urbanization
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2301
Subjects:
ID Code:
167636
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Mar 2022 11:50
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
04 May 2022 02:50