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Wageningen University (2015)

The rise and fall of tourism for poverty reduction within SNV Netherlands Development Organisation

Hummel, J.

Titre : The rise and fall of tourism for poverty reduction within SNV Netherlands Development Organisation

Auteur : Hummel, J.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2015

Résumé partiel
Although development organizations have been involved in tourism for poverty reduction for more than 30 years, their role remains contested. In my study, I examined the rise and fall of tourism within SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in the period 1993–2013. Here, I show how and why tourism as a development tool was introduced within SNV, how it was conceptualized and implemented as development practice, how the organization’s internal ‘ways of working’ influenced this implementation and why SNV recently phased out tourism. Only a few researches have studied tourism development practices in development organizations. To study on these development practices, I used notions that are of importance at the intersection of tourism studies, development studies and organization studies. As such, this thesis contributes to ‘aidnography’, an ethnographic approach to study institutions, organizations and people involved in international development. Aidnography often includes notions of the actor-oriented and actor-network theory approaches. Based on my research I conclude that tourism emerged as a tool for poverty reduction in SNV when development paradigms changed to an alternative/sustainable development paradigm in the 1990s, providing possibilities for tourism to be introduced as an element of integrated rural development. A few enterprising SNV directors started tourism initiatives. The development discourses of SNV and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs have always been closely related, reflecting and influencing international development debates. Around the turn of the millennium, SNV changed its main development concepts, emphasizing capacity development. In the second half of the 2000s, partnerships for development became more important. Tourism in SNV was enabled by and followed these paradigm shifts. In line with these shifts, SNV changed its tourism development approaches and tools. In this thesis I discerned six phases. In the first years tourism was an element in sustainable rural development projects, especially in relation to local participatory planning. A few years later, the tourism practice focused more on capacity development, using multi-stakeholder approaches. Finally, in the years before phasing out, private sector engagement and support, and value chain analysis and development, became dominant approaches. The way tourism was organized and implemented in the organization, was strongly related to the way SNV changed its internal organization over the years. Combinations of six organizational modes of ordering created possibilities for organizational change, which kept SNV relevant as a development organization and consequently influenced the tourism development practice. The way SNV measured its results changed in every phase, and consequently its definition of development success changed in every phase. SNV needed periods of conceptual and material stability to get its result frameworks in place. Within SNV, and in development aid in general, ideas about what needed to be measured changed ; changes occurred in the way development results had to be measured and documented, by whom and when. Therefore, impact was not measured thoroughly in the various phases.

Mots clés : tourism - tourism development - development studies


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