The Role of NGO's in Improving Local Capacity and Local Development; The Case of Antakya

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PLANLAMA-PLANNING, vol.27, no.2, pp.129-140, 2017 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.14744/planlama.2017.28290
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.129-140
  • Yozgat Bozok University Affiliated: Yes


In recent local development approaches, the actor-oriented approaches come to the agenda with reference to governance debates. When local development is addressed actor-oriented, it faces a problem of capacity building rising from the limits of the actors' capacity. In actor-oriented local development approaches NGOs, as representatives of civil society, are among the main actors. The aim of the paper is to demonstrate the role and the effectiveness of NGOs in local development and local capacity building. The main research questions of the paper are formulated as: (1) How do NGOs perceive themselves and other NGOs at contributing to the locality? (2) Which NGO characteristics and NGO manager characteristics determine the level of local capacity development? (3) In what areas do NGOs conduct projects to improve local capacity? In order to search for answers to the research questions, Antakya is determined as the research area, the number of NGOs of which is above the Turkey's average. In the field research, in-depth interviews were conducted with 80 NGO managers operating in Antakya Central District. The results of the research reveal that the NGO characteristics (size, establishment year, domain of influence) do not make a meaningful difference on the level of contribution of NGOs. Nevertheless, the characteristics of NGO managers are more determinative on the level of contribution of NGOs. NGOs in Antakya, define themselves as very important actors in local development and local capacity building, and see themselves responsible for the locality. Social capital and human capital development, sustainability of local resources and values, and strengthening of social-cultural and physical structure can be determined as main fields of contribution of NGOs' projects. The findings of the research can guide the development of local development strategies.