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New philanthropy and social justiceDebating the conceptual and policy discourse$
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Behrooz Morvaridi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447316978

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447316978.001.0001

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Philanthropy and the politics of social policy

Philanthropy and the politics of social policy

Chapter:
(p.117) Seven Philanthropy and the politics of social policy
Source:
New philanthropy and social justice
Author(s):

Ayşe Buğra

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447316978.003.0007

This chapter traces the evolution of philanthropic involvement in developing country agriculture from the ‘scientific philanthropy’ of the Rockefeller Foundation during and after the Green Revolution era to the ‘capitalist philanthropy’ (Morvaridi, 2012) Specifically, it focuses on two research initiatives, the Golden Rice project and drought tolerant (or ‘water efficient’) maize research. Comparison of the ‘logic model’ informing these ventures highlights both disjunctures and continuities in terms of the theory of change and notions of scale and leverage that have informed their design. Firstly, the belief in the inherent scalability of a solution based on genetics-led crop improvement remains unshaken, despite a professed shift in focus to the needs of smallholder farmers. Secondly, a theory of change combines the familiar ‘technical fix’ with a ‘market fix’ that would integrate smallholder farmers into commercial value chains. Thirdly, this change model relies on a transformed understanding of leverage as ‘connecting to’ rather than ‘correcting for’ the market in the provision of public goods.

Keywords:   philanthrocapitalism, pro – poor, agricultural biodiversity, development, Sub Saharan Africa

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