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Title: Gender sensitive accountability of service delivery NGOS : brac and proshika in Bangladesh
Author: Nazneen, Sohela.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3440 2831
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis brings in the relatively unexplored dimension of gender in analysing accountability relations between clients and service delivery NGOs. It builds on existing literature on NGO accountability and feminist critique of organisations to develop the concept of gender sensitive accountability. The thesis explores the questions: a) are large service delivery NGOs accountable to poor women; and b) do they promote gender equity? It is a comparative study of two large credit delivery NGOs in Bangladesh. The thesis investigates the worker's and client's perceptions of each organisation on the following two areas: a) whether various organisational mechanisms (assessment, training, monitoring, and feedback systems) elicit gender-responsive behaviour on the part of the workers; b) if spaces are available for the female clients to renegotiate accountability relations. It argues that whether gender equity concerns are addressed by the workers is arbitrary despite strong gender equity rhetoric from the top management and provision of gender training for the workers. The high risk and competitive nature of the credit market within which both NGOs operate provide a strong incentive for both organisations to design their assessment and monitoring systems that ensure the delivery of a standardised service package in a predictable manner. However, this inadvertently distorts the gender-related agency of the workers. In certain contexts the workers do act as `principled agents, ' being influenced by non-monetary incentives and loyalty towards the clients. However, the use of individual discretion for addressing gender equity concerns is not a systematic response. Moreover, the female clients have very limited space for negotiating demands given the nature of participatory channels, and group formation strategies used by the NGOs, and the overall context of their lives. The presence of external actors and increased NGO competition, do positively affect the client's negotiation position. However, the impact of these external variables is highly individualistic and short-term, leading to limited voice and exit incidents and not long- term changes at the collective level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available