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The authors examine the role of international faith-based NGOs in foreign aid and development assistance for Africa, with special reference to the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). The MCC is successful in its contribution to development and empowerment in the 20 African countries in which it works because of its philosophical and programmatic focus on accountability, its holistic approach to basic rights, and a ‘listen and learn’ approach which embraces empowerment and social justice. Although a ‘small is beautiful’ philosophy does not necessarily feed the ‘quick fix’ methods associated with the New Policy Agenda, it remains the most effective, efficient, accountable, and grassroots-responsive way of dealing with development issues.

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis.

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