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This article describes the experiences of a small Bangladeshi NGO in using actor-oriented tools to focus on key people and partnerships in project planning, monitoring, and evaluation. The approach has helped to identify interventions that are context-specific, building on key local actors and indigenous networks, and sensitive to the constraints experienced by the poorest. As a result, the NGO has moved away from an externally driven agenda, to become a more thoughtful and responsive organisation. In developing the approach, the NGO encountered some problems due to the political sensitivity concerning the representation of linkages. This underlines the importance of using these tools in a politically aware, positive, and reflective way.

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