The influence of international donors of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) acting in developing countries has been the subject of a significant amount of academic literature. This article adds to such body of study by examining specifically the effect of international donors in the fight for land. Through contrasting how the International Land Coalition - ILC and the Movimento dos Sem Terra - MST work in Brazil the article substantiates the theory that international donors constrain the liberty of NGOs to act freely in determining what is best for local communities. The focus on self-help solutions to local problems and the need to avoid conflict with donors reduces empowerment and chances of eliminating the conditions that originally created poverty and unequal distribution of land.
Key words: NGOs, empowerment, international donors, international land coalition, movimento dos sem terra.
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