The influence of NGO-government partnerships on NGO Independence

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2021-06-24
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en
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Around 2014, there was a major change in the way the Dutch government organizes its humanitarian assistance, 14 Dutch humanitarian aid organizations formed an alliance, the Dutch Relief Alliance, in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a donor. There is a lot of literature that suggests how a partnership could have a negative effect on independence of organizations. However, most of this literature is focussed on huge organizations such as the United Nations. Therefore, the case of the Netherlands provides a missing piece of the puzzle –how individual donors organize relations with their own NGOs in the field of humanitarian assistance and how this affects the independence of these NGOs. Based on existing literature, I expected that the organizational independence would decrease as well as the intervening variable that the size of the organization will influence how much organizational independence the NGO loses. A qualitative single case study method was used and within this, deductive methods were applied to analyse semi-structured interviews that were conducted with the different members ofthe DRA. The research also left space to explore if new themes and concepts would evolve. The overall findings indicate that the relations between the NGOs and the government through the DRA is still a donor-receiver relationship. Nonetheless, with the development of the DRA, thisgroup of NGOs got more freedom and responsibility on certain aspects than before. However,these findings are not articulated in the expectations derived from the literature, most likely becauseof specifics of the Dutch context.
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Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen