Chapter 10 NGOs and innovation
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Over the past twenty years, and against the backdrop of a profound transformation in the international development cooperation sector, innovation has resurged as a 'hot' topic in the field. In the same period, development non-governmental organisations (NGOs) face growing challenges of legitimacy, accountability, and vulnerable dependence on government funding. Their role as precursors of alternative development models, natural social innovators, and catalysts of international solidarity movements is increasingly being questioned. These challenges have been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Existing research on development NGO innovation focuses, like most classic innovation research in other fields, on studying specific, usually successful, innovations; leaving many questions unanswered on topics like innovation failure, processes, culture, funding, motivations, as well as the role of NGOs in innovation for development. This chapter gives an overview of the state of the art on development NGOs and innovation, identifying areas that are open for further research.