Promoting Transparency in the NGO Sector: Examining the Availability and Reliability of Self-Reported Data
Summary Amid calls for NGOs to become more accountable, this work examines discrepancies between what NGOs say and do. Using a unique dataset of NGOs in Uganda it investigates the inaccuracies in reported financial transparency and community participation. We find that the threat of being caught reduces the likelihood of financial misrepresentation, while a desire to maintain a good reputation leads to misrepresentation of community consultation. Analysis provides indications that: NGOs with antagonistic relations with government may be more likely to hide information; and that unrealistic donor demands may be an obstacle to transparency. Findings caution against an overly naïve view of NGOs and a reliance on self-reported information.
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