Performance Management in NGOs: Evidence from Kenya

33 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2011

See all articles by Magdy G. Abdel-Kader

Magdy G. Abdel-Kader

Anglia Ruskin University

Billy Wadongo

University of Bedfordshire

Date Written: August 15, 2011


Performance management (PM) is a complex concept that has received much attention in management accounting literature with much discussion devoted to performance measurement aspect. There seems to be a gap between performance management theory and actual practice as highlighted by several researchers and practitioners. Regardless of recent growth and importance of Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) as part of the voluntary sector, particularly in developing countries such as Kenya, research focusing on performance management practices in these organisations lags behind. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore performance PM practices relevant to NGOs performance in Kenya utilising a performance management and control framework (proposed by Ferreira and Otley, 2009). This study utilised a qualitative research approach involving triangulation of data sources and data collection methods to increase the validity and reliability of the study. Data collection included semi structured interviews, and a focus group discussion. The researchers followed Framework analysis (Ritchie and Spencer, 1994) to analyse the qualitative data using NVIVO software. The process involved five key stages namely: ‘familiarisation, identifying a thematic framework, indexing, charting, mapping and interpretation’. A summary of key preliminary findings reveals that the NGOs in Kenya comprise of community based organisations (CBOs), socio enterprises and Voluntary and charitable organisations (VCOs). The definition and scope of the NGOs in Kenya has widened with implications for performance management systems used in the sector. Although NGOs in Kenya view performance as a multidimensional construct, they emphasise measurement of achievement of objectives. This emphasis is further reflected in the subsequent performance measurement practices. Performance management practices are complex and multifaceted encompassing diversity in performance planning, performance measurement and performance context among the NGOs. In addition to the vision and mission, the NGOs have core values and key success factors included in formal strategic planning process. Although a number of private sector performance measurement frameworks are utilised, The Kenyan NGOs mostly logical framework with emphasis on output and financial measures and team based targets. The findings have implications for both PM researchers and practitioners. The study also demonstrated that the performance management and control framework (Ferreira and Otley, 2009) is an important tool for researchers to use to explore PM practices among several NGOs.

Keywords: NGO, Performance Management, Kenya

JEL Classification: M41

Suggested Citation

Abdel-Kader, Magdy G. and Wadongo, Billy, Performance Management in NGOs: Evidence from Kenya (August 15, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Magdy G. Abdel-Kader (Contact Author)

Anglia Ruskin University ( email )

Lord Ashcroft International Business School
Chelmsford campus
Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1SQ
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1245 686848 (Phone)


Billy Wadongo

University of Bedfordshire ( email )

Vicarage St
Luton, LU1 3JU
United Kingdom

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