Dependence and Autonomy: Conditions of Possibility for Nigerien Ownership in the Water Sector
Journal article, 2015
In order for development assistance to contribute to sustainable reform it is considered necessary for recipient states to become owners of and assume leadership over their own policies and strategies. Based on state–agent narratives and participation in ministry–donor negotiation meetings and workshops, this paper investigates the process of achieving Nigerien ownership in the water sector through the implementation of the programme approach. Against the backdrop of new mechanisms of aid and promises for the future, the article shows how Nigerien ownership in the water sector is imagined as the ability to act, which requires the close presence of donors rather than autonomous decision-making. At the same time, the promise of agency creates a space for negotiation of the role of the state that may or may not be utilized.