The role and effectiveness of development aid as perceived by NGOs in KwaZulu-Natal.
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Since the end of the Cold War, the global development aid scene has evolved rapidly. At the heart of the changing world order is civil society and in particular NGOs, that are tasked to fill in the developmental gaps left by the state in retreat. Likewise, the abundance of foreign funds has also led to a dramatic growth of NGOs in both industrialized and developing countries. Philanthropy, at least in theory, has played a crucial role in addressing the global and regional causes of poverty and in advancing development. In South Africa, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) became visible in the 1980's as these organisations played a pivotal role in the provision of welfare services to communities who were largely neglected by the apartheid regime. However, the transition to democracy in the early 1990s significantly affected the NGO sector. Development aid was mainly channelled to the democratic government; meanwhile NGOs had to diversify funding sources. This situation resulted in uncertainties as NGOs had to compete for limited funds. Many NGOs had to reshape their activities in order to survive the turbulence. The various literatures uncover that, many NGOs became donor-driven as they surrendered their autonomy, very few NGOs managed to adhere to their core business in order to best serve their constituencies. This study explores the perceptions of KwaZulu Natal NGOs regarding the role and effectiveness of development aid, using comparative case study method. The intention in using this method is to compare experiences and opinions of different-size NGOs on how they survive the transition, more than ten years in the post-Apartheid South Africa.