Aid, Sanctions and Civil Society: An Analysis of the Impacts of Targeted Sanctions on Fiji’s Non-Government Organisations
In dealing with contested regimes, international aid donors must decide whether to suspend or continue to provide development assistance to a regime considered illegitimate. Since the 1990s a general consensus has existed that conventional sanctions are largely ineffective and essentially violate human rights. Responding to this realisation, targeted or ‘smart’ sanctions emerged with the aim of minimising the impacts of sanctions on civilians, while still targeting the ruling elite. This thesis investigates smart sanctions utilised in a Pacific Island country: Fiji. Following the coups of 1987, 2000 and 2006 three of Fiji’s major aid donors, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union, imposed various levels of smart sanctions including targeted travel bans and sanctioning their aid programmes. In particular, the donors focused on redirecting funding through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Fiji. Within the sanctions literature a particular gap exists regarding assessment of the impacts on local NGOs. What research does exists has shown that in several cases in Africa, Asia and South America when donors have chosen to channel aid through civil society in response to lagging political reforms, this has at times done more harm than good for local NGOs. Since the imposition of smart sanctions in Fiji there has been no evaluation of how rechanneling aid through NGOs has changed the local development landscape. This research evaluates both the explicit and implicit impacts that smart sanctions imposed on Fiji have had on local NGOs.