Title

Accountability: A Comparative Analysis of Non-Profit and For-Profit Accountability to USAID

Publication Date

1-1-2007

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Aqeel Tirmizi

Abstract

In recent years, numerous cases have been documented of mismanagement or misuse of public and private funds and resources by international relief and development organizations. Justified or unjustified, these cases have led to growing levels of public dissatisfaction, distrust and calls for greater non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) and for-profit organization (FPO) accountability. The purpose of this research is to explore how NGOs and FPOs are held financially and contractually accountable to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The research considers the concept of accountability, the systems of accountability in NGOs and FPOs, the perceptions and assumptions that exist in the development community around accountability and the impact systems of accountability have on project performance and short and long-term project results.

Through the application of a phenomenology, USAID funded NGOs and FPOs are analyzed at the project level from the perspective of US development professionals. Data collected through a survey instrument, personal interviews, document review and the author’s personal experiences demonstrate that NGOs and FPOs are held financially and contractually accountable to USAID at the project level through the contracting mechanism, their managerial and governance structures, and their systems of accountability. The results of the research show that NGO systems of accountability demonstrate higher levels of sustainability, local ownership/technology transfer, and project replicability, and FPO systems of accountability demonstrate higher levels of cost management and timeliness of deliverables. The research emphasizes the need for NGO and FPO professionals to review their respective systems of accountability to improve project performance and short and long-term project results.

Disciplines

International Business | Organizational Behavior and Theory

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