Accountability systems of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs): case study from Ghana

Awuah-Werekoh, Kwasi (2015). Accountability systems of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs): case study from Ghana. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Over the last few decades, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have become an integral part of the organisational landscape playing an intermediary role between donors and beneficiaries. To ensure the efficient utilisation of resources, NGOs are required to be accountable to the two main stakeholders: donors and beneficiaries (in what is termed upward and downward accountability respectively). Multiple institutional and environmental pressures have shaped and changed the face of NGOs’ response to accountability as a coping strategy, yet this dimension is inchoate in the literature. Therefore, the study examined the dimensions of accountability systems within an NGO in Ghana. Extending the new institutional sociology theory, particularly the normative forces elements to include the media and the other identified bodies, the study adopted an in-depth interpretive case study approach using a single community based organisation in Ghana. Data was gathered by way of interviews and documentary review. In total 35 interviews were conducted with diverse groups both within and outside the case organisation. The findings of the study are analysed and interpreted through the lens of institutional theory, particularly the new institutional sociology. It was found that the dominant accountability systems in the studied NGOs are upward towards donors. Generally, downward accountability is not given much prominence by NGOs in Ghana, largely due to lack of commitment by donors. It is clear from the study that institutional pressures shape accountability systems of NGOs in Ghana. The result has implications for understanding the operations and reporting systems of NGOs, particularly, in developing countries like Ghana. It is argued that NGOs can strategically and actively respond to these institutional pressures for legitimacy.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management


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