Title

Aid Dependency, Resource Generation, and Mobilization in the Global South: A Pilot Study on Kenyan NGOs

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

The purpose of foreign aid, the administered transfer of resources from a donor country, international agency, or Non Governmental Organizations (NGO), to a Less Developed Country (LDC) - is to encourage economic development. Unfortunately, many decades of bilateral and foreign aid disbursements to LDCs (henceforth referred to as the global south) have resulted in Southern NGOs (SNGOs) that are heavily dependent on foreign aid for their continued sustenance and operations. Dependency has also resulted in the ability of the global north to use aid as a political tool for manipulating southern governments into complying with whatever conditionalities the north dictates for funding. As donor countries, foreign aid policies, and interests change, many SNGOs have been forced to either close prematurely or scale down their operations as funding levels continue to shrink.

This pilot study research looks at the impact of changing foreign aid policies and conditionalities on SNGOs, particularly in Kenya. Through interviews of SNGO leaders in Kenya, this study addresses the capstone question: How do NGOs in the global south reduce their dependence on foreign aid while endeavoring to become financially sustainable in the absence of foreign donor funding? In answering the research question, this study looks at the challenges faced by SNGOs in the area of local resource generation and the strategies being adopted to meet budget deficits. Conclusions of this pilot study show that despite the relatively high reliance on foreign aid that still persists with many SNGOs, some organizations are ardently striving to find ways of generating local resources through philanthropic activities and adoption of new organizational strategies. While an end to complete reliance on foreign aid may not be realistic, the attainment of financial sustainability by SNGOs can become a reality. As many SNGOs begin adopting culturally specific strategies of generating resources locally, many organizations will eventually be in a position to finance the greater part of their budgetary requirements from local resources rather than from foreign aid.

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | International Business

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