Navigating collaboration and confrontation: success factors and constraints for CSOs in negotiation inclusion in land deals in Kenya, in the context of increased private sector importance

This study examines the issue of specialization across the different political roles that civil society organisations (CSOs) play. In particular, we investigate whether it is desirable that individual CSOs opt either for cooperation or confrontation and act together in advocacy coalitions, or alternatively, whether there is a rationale to combine these two roles even within single CSOs. A key variable in answering this question is the perceived legitimacy of a CSO to advocate. Such legitimacy may be built through service delivery and the implementation or coordination of policies, as part of a cooperative role. It may also be compromised by co-optation when partnering too closely with governmental or private sector actors. How this balances out empirically is tested among CSOs that advocate for fair and inclusive land deals in Kenya.

Research project
2017 to 2019

Senior researchers



Civil society organisations, advocacy, inclusive development, land deals

Funding and cooperation


NWO-WOTRO Assumptions Programme


Radboud University Nijmegen

Moi University, Eldoret (Kenya)

ActionAid Netherlands

ActionAid Kenya