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Aid Online: An Analysis of How Australian Aid NGOs Use the Internet

26 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2016  

Sachini Muller

Australian National University (ANU)

Terence Wood

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Date Written: August 14, 2016

Abstract

In this paper we report on content analysis of the websites and social media feeds of 50 Australian aid NGOs. Overall, on average, NGOs devote more of their internet media space to seeking donations than they do to raising public awareness, or encouraging the public to take action on issues. However, there is variation across media types (on Twitter more space is devoted to awareness raising than donations). There is also variation between NGOs; some NGOs are considerably more awareness and action oriented than others. In the second half of the paper we examine the correlates of how NGOs use the internet. Here, the clearest finding is that NGOs that receive a greater share of their revenue from the Australian Government Aid Program devote more of their internet presence to awareness raising and encouraging the public to take action on development issues. This finding runs counter to expectations of the literature on the state and aid NGOs, in which most authors contend that state funding tends to silence NGOs.

Keywords: NGOs, Communications, Donations, Foreign Aid, Social Media, Advocacy

JEL Classification: F35, L31

Suggested Citation

Muller, Sachini and Wood, Terence, Aid Online: An Analysis of How Australian Aid NGOs Use the Internet (August 14, 2016). Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 47. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2823263 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2823263

Sachini Muller

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Terence Wood (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory ACT 0200
Australia

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