Governing Development: Norms, Organizations and International Development Cooperation (Academic Panel)

Over the last decades, global development has witnessed significant attempts to organize, align, and coordinate the ways in which ‘development’ is governed and practiced. International agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have sought to establish common normative frameworks for ‘good development cooperation’ that all actors involved in development cooperation are expected to adhere to in order to be considered legitimate. But how can we understand the complex and multidirectional processes occurring as norms travel back and forth between development organizations and local contexts and at the same time shape and is being shaped by a multitude of thoughts, discourses, and action? Do global norms of development diffuse to and homogenise different development organisations ‘behind their back’? And do development organisations consciously translate global agreements into their own specific context and either subvert or support the agreements? This panel will discuss findings of the Global Norms and Heterogeneous Donor Organizations Research Program (GLONO) and address how diverse development organisations (including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Danida, and South Africa’s Development Cooperation) respond to global normative pressures in their own specific contexts, and what the consequences are for attempts at increasingly governing development.


Signe Cold-Ravnkilde, Postdoc, Danish Institute for International Studies

Adam Moe Fejerskov, Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies

Lars Engberg-Pedersen, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies

Chair: Elling Tjønneland, Senior Researcher, Chr. Michelsen Institute

Discussant: Lata Narayanaswamy, Lecturer, University of Leeds