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Keeping a Low Profile: What Determines the Allocation of Aid by Non-Governmental Organizations?

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  • Dirk-Jan Koch

    ()
    (Centre for International Development Issues in Nijmegen of the Radboud University, Nijmegen)

  • Axel Dreher

    ()
    (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich)

  • Peter Nunnenkamp

    ()
    (The Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Kiel, Germany)

  • Rainer Thiele

    ()
    (The Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Kiel, Germany)

Abstract

NGOs play an important role in international development cooperation, but the allocation of NGO aid has rarely been mapped, let alone explained. Based on a representative dataset for 61 important NGOs from various OECD countries, we analyze the targeting of NGO aid across a large number of recipient countries by jointly considering major determinants of NGO aid in a multivariate regression framework. While our results show that NGOs are more active in the neediest countries, we reject the hypothesis that NGOs complement official aid through engaging in so-called difficult institutional environments. Rather, they tend to replicate the location choices of official “backdonors.” Moreover, NGOs follow other NGOs so that aid gets clustered. Finally, NGOs select recipient countries with common traits related to religion or colonial history. Taken together, our findings suggest that NGOs keep a low profile rather than distinguishing themselves from other donors and trying to excel under risky conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 08-191.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:08-191

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Keywords: aid allocation; aid agencies; non-governmental organizations; poverty;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Nunnenkamp & Janina Weingarth & Johannes Weisser, 2008. "Is NGO Aid Not So Different After All? Comparing the Allocation of Swiss Aid by Private and Official Donors," Kiel Working Papers 1405, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Metzger, Laura & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Mahmoud, Toman Omar, 2010. "Is Corporate Aid Targeted to Poor and Deserving Countries? A Case Study of Nestlé's Aid Allocation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 228-243, March.
  3. Peter Nunnenkamp & Rainer Thiele, 2009. "Sind Nichtregierungsorganisationen die besseren Entwicklungshelfer?," Kiel Working Papers 1484, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Peter Nunnenkamp & Hannes Öhler, 2009. "Aid Allocation through Various Official and Private Channels: Need, Merit and Self-Interest as Motives of German Donors," Kiel Working Papers 1536, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Afridi, Muhammad Asim & Ventelou, Bruno, 2013. "Impact of health aid in developing countries: The public vs. the private channels," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 759-765.
  6. Nunnenkamp, Peter & Öhler, Hannes & Schwörer, Tillmann, 2013. "US based NGOs in International Development: Financial and Economic Determinants of Survival," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 45-65.
  7. Tierney, Michael J. & Nielson, Daniel L. & Hawkins, Darren G. & Roberts, J. Timmons & Findley, Michael G. & Powers, Ryan M. & Parks, Bradley & Wilson, Sven E. & Hicks, Robert L., 2011. "More Dollars than Sense: Refining Our Knowledge of Development Finance Using AidData," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 1891-1906.
  8. Paul A. Raschky & Manijeh Schwindt, 2010. "On the Channel and Type of Aid: The Case of International Disaster Assistance," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 06-10, Monash University, Department of Economics.

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