NGOs, elite capture and community-driven development: Perspectives in rural Mozambique

Alex Arnall, David S.G. Thomas, Chasca Twyman, Diana Liverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This article examines the problems of elite capture in community-driven development (CDD). Drawing on two case studies of non-governmental organisation (NGO) intervention in rural Mozambique, the authors consider two important variables-(1) the diverse and complex contributions of local elites to CDD in different locations and (2) the roles that non-elites play in monitoring and controlling leader activities - to argue that donors should be cautious about automatically assuming the prevalence of malevolent patrimo-nialism and its ill-effects in their projects. This is because the 'checks and balances' on elite behaviour that exist within locally defined and historically rooted forms of community-based governance are likely to be more effective than those introduced by the external intervener.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-330
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Modern African Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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