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All relationships have power dynamics based on our identities and experiences. But within global development, the disparity is quite vast: between international NGOs and local partner organizations, between headquarters and local staff, between the leaders of an NGO and the “beneficiaries” of a program.

This points to a large issue within development: are the interventions implemented by development actors consensual? How do we recognize and change oppressive practices, and amplify and partner with local organizations in more inclusive and impactful ways?

On this episode of the CGD Podcast, Stephanie Kimou of PopWorks Africa and Angela Bruce-Raeburn of Global Health Advocacy Incubator join me to discuss these questions. They explain how the colonization of Africa has shaped development culture, describe the economic and social impacts of aid workers flooding a struggling country, and share their visions for a future where development is led by the so-called "beneficiaries" themselves, not by well-meaning foreigners.

Megan O’Donnell is the assistant director of CGD’s gender program and a senior policy analyst.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.