A Brown Bag Talk on Gender and Aid Chains in Cambodia

You are cordially invited to a Brown bag talk by Ms. Mary-Collier Wilks.
The details are as follows.

Date & Time: 12:00-13:15, Friday, 19 July, 2019
Place: Tonan-tei (Room no. 201), on the 2nd floor of Inamori Foundation
Memorial building, CSEAS

Title: Competing Donor Imaginaries: Gender, Development, and Comparative
Aid Chains in Cambodia.

Presenter: Ms. Mary-Collier Wilks, Doctoral candidate, Department of
Sociology, University of Virginia.

Moderator: Satoru Kobayashi, CSEAS, Kyoto University

Many INGOs in Cambodia use the broad category of ‘gender and
development’ or ‘women’s development’ to describe their work, but the
programming carried out under this umbrella term varies: INGOs from
Japan promote projects addressing health, education, and vocational
skills for mothers, while U.S.-based INGOs focus on reproductive health,
economic empowerment, women’s rights, and political participation.
Although emergent research has begun to theorize national-level
variation among INGOs, relatively little is known about how this
variation affects the way that INGOs organize their operations in
developing countries, and with what consequences for local stakeholders.
Through a comparative study of INGOs from Japan and the U.S., my
dissertation research explores how the practices, beliefs and priorities
of INGOs are transmitted along ‘aid chains,’ or the links through which
programs travel from INGO headquarters, to INGO country offices, and
finally to implementing partners (Watkins, Swidler, & Hannan 2012).
Specifically, I ask: (1) to what degree, and how, do aid chains
organized by INGOs from different countries vary?; (2) How do
implementing partners, such as Cambodian NGOs or employees in government
ministries connected to these aid chains, understand and negotiate the
priorities of U.S. and Japanese INGOs in the political and cultural
context of Cambodia?; and, (3) To what extent does engagement with INGOs
shape the self-understandings of these local practitioners, including
their professional identities and gendered subjectivities? To address
these questions, I combine ethnographic observation and in-depth
interviewing in INGO headquarters, INGO country offices, and
implementing organizations.

About the Speaker:
Mary-Collier Wilks is a doctoral candidate at the University of
Virginia. In the end of June 2019, she will complete a year of
qualitative fieldwork in Cambodia. Her research interests are in
international development, global civil society, gender, political
sociology, and Southeast Asia.