Conceptualising the response of transnational non-governmental development organisations to the value for money agenda.

Gibby, Philip John (2018) Conceptualising the response of transnational non-governmental development organisations to the value for money agenda. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
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The role of non-governmental organisations in development practice is reaching a critical juncture whereby increased bureaucracy arising from demands for greater professional and technical skills is being challenged by questions on their legitimacy in representing the interests of those in most need. The concept of value for money, which involves a value-based assessment of how well resources are used in delivering outcomes, could represent a tipping point. The introduction of donors’ demands for non-governmental development organisations to demonstrate value for money could either entrench such concerns, or it could offer the opportunity for transformative change by empowering local communities to voice their value-based assessment of performance.
This thesis explores how large, UK based transnational non-governmental development organisations, termed TNGDOs, are negotiating the challenges in implementing the concept of value for money. In doing so, it explains why it is proving difficult for TNGDOs to resolve the inherent complications in applying what is an essentially contested concept. Furthermore, it conceptualises that TNGDOs have proven reluctant to seize the transformative potential that the value for money agenda offers by closing down the opportunities for development workers to experiment with its application.
As a former practitioner of value for money audits, the researcher uses a case study methodology to explore how TNGDOs are responding to the concept. Through a combination of critical reflective analysis, the principles of actor-oriented research and discourse analysis, it establishes the difficulties in applying a subjective concept to existing programme management practices. In doing so, it shows the broader struggles facing TNGDOs in marrying the demands of donors and other stakeholders, such as local communities, and in maintaining the individuality of each TNGDO when the concept’s requirement for comparative analysis is likely to lead to a standardisation of approach and greater competition on cost.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Research undertaken in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Social Sciences and in collaboration with World Vision and VSO.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Essentially contested, Ambivalence, National Audit Office, Decontestation, Liminal space
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L400 Social Policy
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2020 16:04
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 20:01

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