• Decolonisation of development cooperation

    Workshop Theme

    • Have colonial attitudes been sustained in the language we use in development?
    • Does our use of knowledge and experts replicate colonial mindsets?
    • Are funding mechanisms still shaped along colonial lines?
    • Can a visiting northern recruited intern be more influential that an lifelong experienced south based fieldofficer?

    If, yes to all or some of the above:

    • What can we do about it? And how pressing is this agenda for civil society organizations?

    This is some of the questions we would like to reflect on in this workshop.

    Decolonisation of development cooperation
    There is no doubt that the traces of colonialism has deep impact on the development of the world today, as is strongly linked to how politics and economy is shaping the lives of large parts of the world. Through the lens of various international voices Partos have generated a trilogy of "Future briefs" (of which two are now published, see below) to trace the consequences of colonialism on development cooperation – ending up with recommendations on how we can embark on decolonizing the development cooperation.
     Dr. Emmanuel Kumi, research fellow at the University of Ghana and one of the contributors to the decolonisation discussion will join us to engage with us in a conversation on what this entails for our concrete work – what you can do in your organisation and what CISU could do. Dr. Kumi will take his point of departure in the two "Future briefs" (see materials below) and the "Iceberg model" (presented in "Future brief #2). 

    Using the Iceberg model: 

    According to the model, at the tip of the iceberg lay observable behaviours and practices that often replicate colonial patterns. For example, communication products and the language and imagery they employ are concrete dimensions of development cooperation. Colonial elements along those dimensions are, thus, easier to identify. These more visible aspects, however, beg the question: what lays underneath, sustaining the ties between colonialism and development cooperation? 

    The question pushes us to take a deep dive below the surface of development practices to consider the mindsets, attitudes and values making up the ‘deep structures’ that allow colonial elements to survive. 

    Dr Kumi will guide us in an unpacking of mindsets, attitudes and values, thereafter, turning our attention to the tip of the iceberg to examine how colonial elements has been sustained along four dimensions:

    1. Language and imagery
    2. Knowledge, skills and expertise
    3. Fundraising and partnerships
    4. Human resource practices

    In the workshop we will have a world cafe with four tabels where each of these four themes will discussed - using your experiences and views


    The workshop will be divided into three sub-session: 

    • Setting the scene: Introduction by Emmanuel Kumi:  Brief history of Development and the colonial legacy in the perspective of "The Iceberg model".   
    • World Cafe: Four table's, Four pressing issues. Participants are invited to circulate between the tabels and debate. 
    • Perspective: How is decolonization's still an issue? And how does it affect CSO partnerships? 

    The workshops Saturday and Sunday will be with similar content. This means that if you miss it Saturday (because you participate in another workshop), you can easily take part in the Sunday session (and vice versa). 

  • Materials for the workshop

  • Good reasons to become a Fabo User