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Politics and the Effectiveness of Humanitarian Aid

Tirone, Daniel C. (2012) Politics and the Effectiveness of Humanitarian Aid. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Does the source of Non-Government Organization (NGO) funding affect how effective these groups may be in achieving their goals? Some organizations and scholars argue that accepting funds from governments and other political entities reduces their autonomy and makes it more difficult for them to operate in politically sensitive areas. In contrast, other groups happily accept funds from these governmental sources. This project examines the efficacy of humanitarian NGOs as a function of their funding sources, with a particular focus on civil conflict. I argue that due to differences in the incentives and ability of private and public donors to hold NGOs accountable for their activities, organizations which receive funding primarily from private donors are less accountable than are organizations which receive funds primarily from public donors. Due to these differences in accountability, I further argue that publicly funded NGOs should be more effective in achieving their goals than privately funded organizations. This argument is tested using an original dataset on the activities of three of the most prominent humanitarian NGOs for the period from 2004-2007, and finds that publicly funded organizations do in fact exhibit greater levels of aid effectiveness than privately funded organizations. Furthermore, there is some evidence that aid from privately funded organizations may in fact make crises worse, rather than improving them. The results of this study have implications not only for scholars interested in aid efficacy organizations and scholars, but most importantly for the individuals whom they seek to assist, whose lives and welfare critically depend on effective and efficient assistance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tirone, Daniel
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairSavun, Burcuburcu@pitt.eduBURCU
Committee CoChairBearce, David
Committee MemberRudra, Nitarudra@pitt.eduRUDRA
Committee MemberDonno, Danieladonno@pitt.eduDONNO
Date: 2 October 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 August 2012
Approval Date: 2 October 2012
Submission Date: 30 July 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 191
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Foreign Aid Humanitarian Aid Civil Conflict Non-Governmental Organizations International Relations
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2012 20:26
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:01


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