When worlds collide: non-state actors, philanthropy and the commercial promotion of fertility control options in developing countries

Wale, J and Rowlands, S (2022) 'When worlds collide: non-state actors, philanthropy and the commercial promotion of fertility control options in developing countries.' Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing. e1737. ISSN 2691-1361

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/nvsm.1737

Abstract

The purpose of this study is an ethical evaluation of the role of transnational philanthropic and commercial actors in the promotion and implementation of fertility control and family planning programmes in developing countries around the world. In particular, we consider the application, extension and association of collective and individualist ethical justifications to these actors. Our aim is to achieve a better understanding of the rights and obligations that different stakeholders might hold in this arena. We use a critical theoretical lens to examine conventional ethical discourse and literature to develop a fresh conceptual understanding of the arguments applicable to philanthropic and commercial actors in the context of fertility control and family planning. Whilst complex multi-stakeholder arrangements make ethical assessment challenging, caution ought to be exercised in the application and extension of conventional state-based justifications for fertility control or family planning to these transnational non-state actors. Collective justifications or interests cannot be automatically extended to cover the activities of these organisations and actors in this context. Potential conflicts of interest and inequalities in the power dynamics between stakeholders are all too apparent. The lack of direct accountability and transparency of action also raises questions about the building of philanthropic partnerships and the appropriate degree of state and international oversight. State and philanthropic/commercial interests are unlikely to be aligned when the transformative goals of the latter promote self-sufficiency and individualist agendas. This paper contributes to ethical knowledge of and literacy in philanthropic activities in the arena of family planning, sexual and reproductive health and fertility control. It offers guidance for the evaluation of these contributions and the development of global philanthropic partnerships.

Item Type: Article
Note:

Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference and Bath Spa University during the course of 2021.

Keywords: ethics, justice, philanthrocapitalism, philanthropy, promotion, sexual and reproductive health
Divisions: Bath Business School
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1002/nvsm.1737
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2021 18:51
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2022 14:53
URI / Page ID: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14455
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