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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Trends in Development Aid, Negotiation Processes and NGO Policy Change

Johansson, Karl-Erik; Elgström, Ole; Kimanzu, Ngolia; Nylund, Jan-Erik; Persson, Reidar


Non-governmental organizations (NGO) and government donor agencies (GDA) are often caught in a dilemma; an NGO between responsiveness to its target group(s), expectations of individual donors and demands of its GDA; GDA between its policy to respect NGO's integrity, its wish to keep NGOs accountable for received fund and its operation within the bounds of its general policies. This dilemma is mirrored in the NGO-GDA negotiation for funds. Based on negotiation theory and using three explanatory approaches, 18 years of negotiations between an NGO, Vi Skogen (ViS) and its GDA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), are analyzed in order to demonstrate how organizational structures, power relations and the context influence the outcome of the negotiations. All three approaches help to explain how ViS managed, mainly in the interest of its individual donors, to resist changes demanded by Sida and also to explain how the agendas of ViS and Sida finally converged.


Negotiation theory; Policy change; Government donor agency; Development cooperation

Published in

Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
2010, Volume: 21, number: 3, pages: 371-392
Publisher: SPRINGER

    SLU Authors

      • Nylund, Jan-Erik

        • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
        • Persson, Reidar

          • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

        Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG1 No poverty

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Economics and Business
        Social Sciences

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