Collaborating with Malian Artists for Increased NGO Effectiveness: A Bamako, Mali Case Study
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Arising from drastically different world views, misconceptions between foreign NGOs working in Mali and local Malians often lead to actions that perpetuate unjust power dynamics and/or do more harm than good. In order to better align NGO sustainable development efforts in ways that are beneficial to the populations they serve, it is crucial to listen to perspectives that are typically marginalized in our current global system. This thesis explores synergizing NGO-Malian artist partnerships in innovative, mutually understandable, and mutually beneficial ways to increase NGO project effectiveness and efficiency. This case study features twelve interviews with Malian dancers and musicians residing in Bamako, Mali. The intersections between this data and current academic sources indicate suggested 1) processes to cultivate understanding and mindfully work to shift unjust power dynamics; and 2) projects (themes, partnerships with existing opportunities, and innovations) that demonstrate promising, new potential to improve development efforts.