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Ben Lough ‘s Paper on Reciprocity

Ben Lough ‘s Paper on Reciprocity

Dr. Lough’s paper aims to untangle critical assumptions behind reciprocity, along with the underlying values and ideas associated with the concept. The paper begins by exploring reciprocity, drawing from a wide body of literature on international cooperation and exchange. It explores some of the hidden and unintended consequences that might emerge from reciprocal relationships. The discussion then considers whether IVCOs and volunteers acting together with host-country partners can embrace an authentic expression of partnership—being mutually empowered to make and act on targeted development priorities. This question draws on many diverse dimensions of reciprocity that contemporary government-funded IVCOs practice. Although all of the case examples in this paper draw from government-funded agencies, the principles apply across a variety of different volunteer programs. With an acknowledgment that full reciprocity may be problematic in some instances, the paper explores the potential strengths of reciprocity within the contemporary system of international volunteer cooperation.

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