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Capacity in the NGO Sector: Results from a National Survey in Cambodia

  • David Suárez
  • Jeffery H. Marshall
Article

Abstract

Capacity has become a prominent theme in the literature on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the last few decades, due in part to the increasingly global role these organizations play in development. We analyze data obtained from a national sample of local and international NGOs operating in Cambodia, documenting capacity differences between these two groups as well as highlighting overall levels of capacity in the sector. The analysis covers a number of different organizational dimensions that have been associated with capacity, including structural characteristics and concrete management practices. Results suggest that international NGOs generally have greater capacity, but overall levels of capacity are relatively low for a variety of measures. We conclude with an exploratory cluster analysis that identifies four distinctive groups of NGOs based on capacity, providing additional insights into diversity within the sector. These findings will be useful for comparative NGO research and for capacity-building programs, in addition to helping establish an agenda for future research to monitor progress.

Keywords

Capacity Development NGOs Management 

Résumé

La notion de capacité est devenue, au cours des dernières décennies, un des thèmes principaux des recherches sur les Organisations Non Gouvernementales (ONG), en partie en raison du rôle international grandissant que jouent ces organisations dans le domaine du développement. Dans cet article, nous examinons des données provenant d’un échantillon national d’ONG locales et internationales opérant au Cambodge. Ces données portent sur les différences de capacité entre ces deux groupes et mettent également en lumière les niveaux globaux de capacité dans ce secteur. L’analyse prend en compte une variété de dimensions organisationelles liées à la capacité, telles que les caractéristiques structurelles et les pratiques concrètes de gestion. Les résultats suggèrent que les ONG internationales (ONGI) possèdent généralement une capacité supérieure, mais que les niveaux globaux de capacité sont relativement bas selon une variété de mesures. En conclusion, nous présentons une analyse exploratoire de clusters qui identifie quatre groupes distincts de NGO en fonction de leur capacité, offrant ainsi une image plus détaillée de la diversité au sein de ce secteur. Ces résultats serviront non seulement pour établir un agenda de recherches futures sur les progrès accomplis dans ce secteur, mais seront aussi utiles aux études comparées d’ONG et aux programmes de développement de capacité.

Zusammenfassung

Die Kapazität ist in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten zu einem wichtigen Thema in der Literatur zu nicht-staatlichen Organisationen geworden. Ein Grund dafür ist die vermehrt globale Rolle, die diese Organisationen im Entwicklungsbereich spielen. Wir untersuchen Daten aus einer landesweiten Stichprobe von lokalen und internationalen nicht-staatlichen Organisationen in Kambodscha, die sowohl die Kapazitätsunterschiede zwischen diesen beiden Gruppen dokumentieren als auch das Kapazitätsmaß insgesamt in diesem Sektor hervorheben. Die Analyse erstreckt sich auf eine Reihe verschiedener organisatorischer Bereiche, die mit der Kapazität in Verbindung gebracht werden, einschließlich struktureller Merkmale und konkreter Managementpraktiken. Die Ergebnisse weisen darauf hin, dass internationale nicht-staatliche Organisationen im Allgemeinen zwar über größere Kapazitäten verfügen; doch ist das Kapazitätsmaß insgesamt in verschiedenen bewerteten Bereichen relativ gering. Der Beitrag schließt mit einer explorativen Clusteranalyse, die im Hinblick auf die Kapazität vier unterschiedliche Gruppen von nicht-staatlichen Organisationen herausstellt und weitere Einblicke in die Diversität des Sektors gewährt. Die Ergebnisse sind für komparative Studien über nicht-staatliche Organisationen sowie für kapazitätsbildende Programme von Nutzen und sind bei der Erstellung eines Plans für zukünftige Forschungen zur Überwachung des Fortschritts hilfreich.

Resumen

La capacidad se ha convertido en un tema destacado en el material publicado sobre organizaciones no gubernamentales (ONG) en las últimas décadas, debido en parte al creciente papel mundial que estas organizaciones desempeñan en el desarrollo. Investigamos los datos obtenidos de una muestra nacional de ONG locales e internacionales que operan en Camboya, documentando las diferencias de capacidad entre estos dos grupos, y destacando también los niveles globales de capacidad en el sector. El análisis cubre una serie de dimensiones organizativas diferentes que han sido asociadas a la capacidad, incluidas las características estructurales y las prácticas de gestión concretas. Los resultados sugieren que las ONG internacionales (ONGI) tienen generalmente mayor capacidad, pero los niveles globales de capacidad son relativamente bajos para una serie de medidas. Concluimos con un análisis exploratorio de conglomerados o cluster que identifica cuatro grupos distintivos de ONG basados en la capacidad, proporcionando percepciones adicionales sobre la diversidad dentro del sector. Estos hallazgos serán útiles para la investigación comparativa de ONG y para los programas de creación de capacidad, además de ayudar a establecer una agenda para que las futuras investigaciones monitoricen el progreso.

摘要

过去数十年来,在关于非政府组织(NGO)的文献中,能力成了一个引人注目的主题,其部分原因在于,此类组织在全球发展中扮演着越来越重要的角色。我们的研究数据来自于对柬埔寨境内的本国和国际非政府组织的全国性抽样调查,此次调查记录了这两类组织的能力差距,并着重分析了非政府组织的整体能力水平。分析涵盖了与能力有关的各个组织层面,包括结构特点和具体的管理方法。结果表明,国际非政府组织(INGO)通常拥有更强的能力,但从各项指标来看,其总体能力水平较低。最后,我们做了探索性的集群分析,根据能力水平将非政府组织分为四类,以便更好地了解非政府组织的多样性。这些发现对于非政府组织的比较性研究及能力建设计划不无裨益,也有助于未来制订旨在掌握进展情况的研究计划。

要約

組織の発達段階におけるグローバルな役割が原因で、過去数十年間で民間非営利団体(NGO)の能力に関する文献が注目されるテーマとなっている。カンボジアで活動する現地および国際的なNGOの国のサンプルから得られたデータを調査して、2つのグループにおける能力差を立証して、セクターで総合的なレベルの能力を提示する。分析では、構造的な特性と具体的な経営実務を含む多くの能力に関して、組織的に異なる特徴を取り上げる。結果として、一般に国際的なNGO(INGO)では多大な能力を持つことが示されているが、測定によっては総合的なレベルの能力は比較的低いといえる。能力に基づいてNGOの4グループを特定する予備のクラスター分析から結論を出して、セクター内における多様性を洞察する。調査結果より、今後の調査がモニターの進展における課題を確立して、NGOの比較調査と生産能力造成プログラムに役立つといえる。

ملخص

أصبحت القدرة موضوعا˝ بارزا˝ في الأدب عن المنظمات الغير حكومية (NGOs) في العقود القليلة الماضية، يرجع ذلك جزئيا˝ إلى دور عالمي متزايد تقوم به هذه المنظمات في التنمية. نحن نفحص البيانات التي تم الحصول عليها من عينة وطنية من المنظمات الغير حكومية (NGOs) المحلية والدولية العاملة في كمبوديا، توثيق إختلافات القدرة بين هاتين المجموعتين وكذلك تسليط الضوء على المستويات العامة للقدرة في هذا القطاع. يشمل التحليل عددا˝ من الأبعاد التنظيمية المختلفة التي إرتبطت مع القدرة، بما في ذلك الخصائص الهيكلية وأساليب إدارة ملموسة. النتائج تشير إلى أن المنظمات الغير حكومية الدولية((INGOs) لديها بشكل عام قدرة أكبر، لكن المستويات العامة للقدرة منخفضة نسبيا˝ لمجموعة متنوعة من التدابير. نستنتج مع تحليل المجموعة الإستكشافية التي تحدد أربع مجموعات مميزة من المنظمات الغير حكومية على أساس القدرات، تقديم رؤى إضافية إلى التنوع داخل القطاع. هذه النتائج تكون مفيدة للمنظمات الغير حكومية لبحث مقارن وبرامج بناء القدرات، بالإضافة إلى المساعدة في وضع جدول أعمال للبحث في المستقبل لرصد التقدم.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Bunly Seng and his research team for helping us to implement the survey.

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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sol Price School of Public PolicyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.San Miguel de AllendeMexico

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