A Typology of Child Sponsorship Activity

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Book Chapter

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This book chapter was originally published as:

Watson, B. (2014). A typology of child sponsorship activity. In B. Watson & M. Clarke (Eds.), Child sponsorship: Exploring pathways to a brighter future (pp. 41-65). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

ISBN: 9781137309594


169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified

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Framing the debate over child sponsorship in terms of legitimacy and changing perceptions of credible international humanitarian interventions, this chapter takes exception to the tendency of child sponsorship critics to assume that sponsorship funded activity is much the same everywhere and similar today when compared to sponsorship practice in the past. Mindful of ongoing critique of child sponsorship, this chapter seeks to position those international non-governmental organisations that utilise child sponsorship to fund interventions, in a landscape of contested ideas. It argues that informed critique of child sponsorship is best achieved through a typology of funded interventions. Four key types of sponsorship funded activity are identified as emerging over time, some of which are currently deemed to be less legitimate in terms of poverty reduction and are best seen as welfare measures aimed at individual children rather than community development or advocacy activities.


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