An organization implementing development cooperation projects and initiatives. Including ministries that vie for budget funds; multilateral and bilateral implementing agencies that are engaged in “turf-fighting”; and consultants and scientific advisors.

An agencies that seeks first to meet the demands of their own country’s government, legislatures, foreign ministries, staff, and organized interest group.

Insights of modern organizational theory and evidence from the policy field clearly show that organizations – as collective actors – have a major and fundamental interest in securing both their own survival and the greatest possible autonomy for their actions. This helps explain why aid agencies’ are, for example, reluctant to withdraw from partner countries in which they have developed organizational structures. Instead, aid organizations have incentives to increase their budgets and to expand their planning responsibility into new issue fields.

When implementing agencies pursue special interests which do not match the interests of their principals, they will use an existing information asymmetry to provide their principals (Citizens of target group, taxpayer of donor country) only with selective information. They point out that their work is successful. They present evaluations, recommendations, progress reports, and stacks of publications to prove their success. At the same time, though, all these actors are faced with major incentives to explain why it is that, owing to exogenous factors, the fundamental objectives defined have still not been reached. Highlighting past success and demonstrating still-unrealized objectives then serve as the basis for demands for more funds as well as greater competences in planning and implementation.

High levels of rivalry among donors centers on acquiring funds and responsibilities from upper levels of the delivery chain, this rivalry does not drive the supply side toward efforts to more effectively and innovatively satisfy client preferences. The complexity of planning and implementation processes tends even to worsen the information asymmetry and contributes to a degree of de facto autonomy of the implementing agency.

Source: Jörg Faust, Dirk Messner (2007) Organizational Challenges for an Effective Aid Architecture – Traditional Deficits, the Paris Agenda and Beyond


ISIC Section M - Professional, scientific and technical activities
ISIC Class 9900 - Activities of extraterritorial organizations and bodies

The Fringes

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