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Spatial Clustering Of NGOs: An Evolutionary Economic Geography Approach

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  • Dirk-Jan Koch

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  • Ruerd Ruben

Abstract

Strong patterns of concentration characterize the location decisions of development NGOs. Since current theories on non-profit location choice tend to neglect such tendencies, this article develops an evolutionary economic geography approach to non-profit organizations. It focuses on increasing returns to scale, labor mobility and path dependence and contextualizes those factors. A survey involving visual ranking methods of OECD-based development NGOs and structured field-level interviews with local NGOs in the Central African Republic and Tanzania provide original empirical data. Statistical methods are used to contrast the divergent experiences in the two countries. The article concludes that the increased interest of international NGOs in Tanzania and their continued lack of interest in the Central African Republic are self-perpetuating processes that explain the concentration of NGOs. This concentration may lead to increased efficiency, but reduces the equitable distribution of NGO aid and therefore has implications for the attainment of global poverty goals.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk-Jan Koch & Ruerd Ruben, 2008. "Spatial Clustering Of NGOs: An Evolutionary Economic Geography Approach," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0814, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0814
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    economic geography; clusters; NGO; aid; Tanzania; Central African Republic;
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