The Review of International Organizations

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 309–331 | Cite as

Scrambling for contact: The determinants of inter-NGO cooperation in non-Western countries

  • Amanda Murdie


When do non-governmental organizations (NGOs) cooperate with each other? Even with much touting of the positive effects of inter-NGO cooperation on humanitarian outcomes, the extant literature offers us few insights into the determinants of this cooperation, especially in a cross-national framework. Drawing on both the current NGO literature and the larger cross-disciplinary literature on inter-organizational cooperation, I argue that both trust and opportunity are needed for inter-NGO cooperation. Trust in other organizations is highly dependent on governance structures within the state. Similarly, in the uncertain situation of humanitarian disasters and development work in non-Western states, security concerns and a lack of a coordinating leadership body can limit the opportunities of NGOs to collaborate. The presence of humanitarian state interveners can act to mitigate these concerns and provide NGOs with more opportunities to collaborate. Using a novel measure of NGO to NGO cooperation in non-Western countries, empirical results of this project largely support the hypotheses derived from this trust and opportunity framework.


NGO Cooperation Civil conflict Intervention 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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