About the Book

"NGOs are as Canadian as hockey," a 1988 Parliamentary report declared. Few institutions embody the image of Canada's international benevolence like non-governmental organizations devoted to development abroad. But do the actions of Canadian NGOs genuinely match this perception? Ranging from poverty in Africa to turmoil in Haiti, from Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to the Afghanistan war, Paved with Good Intentions uncovers the darker side of the role played by NGOs.

Praise for Paved with Good Intentions

”An extraordinary exposé of the ‘soft imperialism’ of aid organizations and nonprofits. In richly detailed case-studies, the authors unmask the puppetry by which rich countries use supposedly ‘humanitarian’ NGOs to promote their own economic and geopolitical interests.”
–Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

Paved with Good Intentions is timely, hard-hitting and well-researched. Not everyone will agree with its conclusions, but this is exactly the kind of challenge that NGOs require to fulfill their mission for social change.”
–Michael Edwards, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Demos

“This book cuts through the fog of NGO hagiographies, and offers a sobering look at the close linkages between NGOs and Western governments and corporations, and their agenda-setting priorities that often have disastrous impact on local communities. It breaks new ground through an intimate study of Canadian-funded NGOs, a country where NGOs are the icons of 'doing good' in the global south. This is an important piece of scholarship in the emerging field of NGO studies, and will definitely create a stir among scholars, policy makers, and practitioners alike."
–Lamia Karim, author of Microfinance and Its Discontents: Women in Debt in Bangladesh

“This book is sure to be controversial. As an exploration of the role of Canadian international development NGOs in the world, the book offers much to admire, much to challenge, and very much to debate. Such a debate is long overdue and can only strengthen the sector if engaged in an open and rigorous manner.”
–Brian K. Murphy, former policy analyst, Inter Pares

"If you want to know the real story of how even 'progressive' NGOs undermine democracy and people’s struggles for justice in the Third World, read Paved with Good Intentions. The authors offer an intimate and historically comprehensive portrayal of how the best of international NGOs survive only by mortgaging their ideals to powerful vested interests. A must read for scholars and practitioners alike, the authors make a compelling case for a politics of solidarity rather than one of benevolence and donor patronage."
–Sangeeta Kamat, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and author of Development Hegemony: NGOs and the State in India.

"An important read for anyone living in Canada who wants to make a difference in the world. This paradigm-shifting polemic helps us to make an informed decision about how to best use our good impulses to contribute to global justice. As Paved with Good Intentions shows, it is not through development NGOs - which are not so 'non-governmental' but often vehicles for neoliberal government agendas - but rather through working in solidarity with grassroots movements that we can address issues like global poverty."
–Brigette DePape, writer, activist and "rogue page"

"Well researched, clearly written and persuasively argued, Paved With Good Intentions is an invaluable contribution to the growing body of critical writing on Canada's active role in a world of imperialist power and violence."
- Todd Gordon, author of Imperialist Canada