NGO Accountability from an NGO Perspective: Their Perceptions, Strategies, and Practices

28 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2020

See all articles by Khaldoun Abou Assi

Khaldoun Abou Assi

American University - Department of Public Administration and Policy

Deborah L Trent

Independent

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Extant research in the nonprofit literature focuses on NGO accountability, framing it relationally. We examine the interplay of several constitutive elements of NGO–donor relationships based on narratives of NGO executives: NGO perceptions of accountability and of their donors, their assumptions about donor perceptions of the NGO role and expectations of NGO accountability, and their responses to shifts in donor funding. We argue that perceptions and practices of accountability not only determine to whom an NGO should be primarily accountable but also shape NGO behavior and alter dependence on donors. As such, accountability is not necessarily a
consequence of a relationship but more likely a constitutive element of the relationship. While a favourable response to donor interests might signify upward accountability, it might also suggest that NGOs are more assertive about managing their institutional environments and thereby mitigate their dependence on donors.

Keywords: NGO, accountability, donors

Suggested Citation

Abou Assi, Khaldoun and Trent, Deborah, NGO Accountability from an NGO Perspective: Their Perceptions, Strategies, and Practices (2015). Program on Governance and Local Development Working Paper No. 4, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3630087 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3630087

Khaldoun Abou Assi (Contact Author)

American University - Department of Public Administration and Policy ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Deborah Trent

Independent ( email )

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