Partnering at the Local Level: A Liberian NGO Struggling for Partnership Funding

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Tatsushi Arai


The purpose of this paper is to examine whether there are biases or barriers preventing International NGO’s and Donor Agencies from collaborating effective funding partnerships with local Liberia NGO’s.

Imani House Inc. is the local NGO I worked with in Liberia that began its existence during the country’s civil war and managed to maintain sustainability throughout the continuous conflicts. Now that the country is stable and levels of funding have increased, competition for monetary assistance has grown and partnerships are more selective between donor agencies and Non-governmental organizations.

The basis of research for my paper was drawn from my funding experiences with Imani House Inc. Qualitative methods were applied to examine and compare what donor agencies in Liberia are searching for when funding partnerships.

Talcott Parson’s Social Action Theory was included as a conceptual tool to determine if the social environment impacts partnership decisions. Additionally, Imani House Inc. was evaluated to distinguish if the organization’s skill capacity and program structure was preventing partnership selection.

The results indicated improvement was required by donor agencies and local NGO’s. New systems of accountability and transparency could ultimately help current and future collaborations. Additionally, longevity is not possible without giving partnerships adequate time to mature so unrealistic goals can be avoided when implementing development projects.

The information in this paper will provide insight about development projects from each implementing partner and shed light on the current structural system. The material covered is a reminder of the challenges existing with partnerships and the need for alternative methods or approaches to improve the system.


International Economics | Politics and Social Change | Work, Economy and Organizations

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