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The intractability of information: non-governmental development organizations and the uses of knowledge

, School of Oriental And African Studies, United Kingdom ;

Masters, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS, University of London, London, UK . Awarded


The globalization of information has led to increased optimism about the increasing role of global civil society. However, the underdeveloped have been left out of this information explosion. Through development, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) seek to empower the poor so that they have the resources and abilities to join the rest of the world. Unfortunately, these NGOs have problems of their own: issues with accountability to donors and the bottom-up participation of their beneficiaries. As NGOs become increasingly market-driven, they take on characteristics of the private sector, including their information problems. This paper argues that the corporate information solutions offered for these problems will not be successful in the NGO context, and that NGOs instead should focus on organic responses to these informational constraints.


Reiter, J.H. (2006). The intractability of information: non-governmental development organizations and the uses of knowledge. Masters thesis, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS, University of London, London, UK. Retrieved February 21, 2019 from .


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