1st Edition

Aid from International NGOs Blind Spots on the AID Allocation Map

By Dirk-Jan Koch Copyright 2009
    240 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    International NGOs are increasingly important players within the new aid architecture but their geographic choices remain uncharted territory. This book focuses on patterns of development assistance, mapping, while analysing and assessing the country choices of the largest international NGOs. Koch's approach is interdisciplinary and uses qualitative, quantitative and experimental methods to provide a clear insight in the determinants of country choices of international NGOs.

    The book aims to discover the country choices of international NGOs, how they are determined and how they could be improved. This work, which uses a dataset created specifically for the research, comes to the conclusion that international NGOs do not target the poorest and most difficult countries. They are shown to be focussing mostly on those countries where their back donors are active. Additionally, it was discovered that they tend to cluster their activities, for example, international NGOs also have their donor darlings and their donor orphans. Their clustering is explained by adapting theories that explain concentration in for-profit actors to the non-profit context.

    The book is the first on the geographic choices of international NGOs, and is therefore of considerable academic interest, especially for those focusing on development aid and third sector research. Furthermore, the book provides specific policy suggestions for more thought-out geographic decisions of international NGOs and their back donors.

    1. Introduction, Part 1: Mapping and testing determinants of geographic choices of NGOs, 2. Politics or poverty: what determines the geographic choices of NGOs, 3. Geographic choices of Dutch NGOs: myths or realities, Part 2: Explaining geographic concentration of NGOs, 4. The concentration of NGOs: an economic geography approach, 5. Do country images affect concentration of NGOs, 6. "Back donors"' influence on concentration, Part 3: Analyzing implications of geographic choices of NGOs, 7. The consequences of concentration of NGOs: does if affect cooperation?, 8. Implications of the research findings.


    Dirk-Jan Koch has been working for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2004. He spent three years at their Civil Society Unit and is currently based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he deals with humanitarian and development aid.

    "Dirk-Jan Koch has written an important book on the allocation of aid by international NGOs. In the book, he argues skillfully and provocatively that the aid given by non-governmental development agencies is concentrated on a limited number of developing countries and that their aid is not guaranteed to reach the poorest."

    Wil Hout, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague