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Title: Between donor preferences and country context : an analysis of the Lebanese NGO sector
Author: Seyfert, Karin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 7149
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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NGOs have arguably become the most prominent actors in development, managing increasing volumes of funding and becoming important interlocutors to government and international agencies. This thesis contributes to the increasing body of academic literature on NGOs. It presents a case study, namely Lebanon, in recent historical perspective and in the context of changing funding frameworks in overseas development aid. It is examined how country context as well as donor frameworks shape NGO operations. Project implementation by NGOs is judged as highly context specific. That is to say NGO characteristics change with historical, political and social context. NGO operations are shaped by regulatory framework, international development discourse and donor demands. This dissertation addresses how country context, donor preferences and funding frameworks affect project implementation by NGOs Two data sources are used to address this question firstly a large NGO survey, covering more than 3000 non-governmental organisations and secondly a qualitative study consisting of firstly a small database of 197 projects and secondly records of semi-structured interviews with NGO staff and experts. The qualitative data focuses rural development projects. Descriptive analysis of the NGO survey is used to build a historical analysis of the Lebanese NGO sector in various periods. The focus of activity as well as staffing and funding patterns are found to vary across activity and time. Following an analysis of country specific influences on NGO operations is an analysis of donor preferences. Multi-variate logistic regression analysis is used to analyse which donors fund what type of NGOs. Empirical manifestations of donor preferences indicate that Lebanese third sector, governmental and international donors have specific preferences of certain NGO characteristics, such as institutional sophistication, access to networks or sectarian affiliation. Thematic analysis of qualitative data of rural development projects shows that, though donor influence is not articulated directly by NGO staff, it can be revealed through an analysis of implemented projects and a critical appraisal of their impact. Through funding frameworks donors are found to define from the outset a significant share of NGO project implementation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral