Dangerous Correlations: Aid’s Impact on NGOs’ Performance and Ability to Mobilize Members in Pakistan

Masooda Banoa, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, Accepted 22 November 2007.
Available online 2 July 2008.


Based on a country-wide survey of 40 civil society organizations in Pakistan, this paper demonstrates that the policy of channeling development aid through NGOs in the South in the name of generating social capital and strengthening civil society is having a reverse impact: organizations reliant on development aid have no members. The survey indicates a strong correlation between receipt of international aid and absence of members; it further demonstrates a strong correlation between aid and rise in material aspirations among leaders of NGOs and lower organizational performance. The paper raises possibility of a causal relation where aid leads to material aspirations among leaders of NGOs, which in turn result in lower performance and an inability to mobilize members.

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One thought on “Dangerous Correlations: Aid’s Impact on NGOs’ Performance and Ability to Mobilize Members in Pakistan”

  1. thanks for this article. very interesting finding. i published in sociological research online vol 13(5) the effect of international networking to indonesian CSOs. it appears that ‘chequebook activism’ (giving funding) was a (safe?) means for ‘participation’ by global civil society in the indonesian context during heightened period — rather than being involved directly.
    the articles is in SRO website http://www.socresonline.org.uk/13/5/3.html


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