Managing aid relationships in the context of Results Based Management - A case study of support to civil society within Swedish development cooperation
Monitoring, evaluation, and reporting to donors on progress and results are a fundamental but also controversial part of the relationship between development actors. In this interaction, between the official and civil society, frictions appear and problems arise because of the differences between these actors with different purposes, agendas, structures and organisational logic behind them. This dissertation is devoted to studying aid relationships in the context of results based management, a management approach introduced as part of global reforms directed at making international aid more effective and accountable. However, previous research has showed that results based management risk having the opposite effects if implemented in the wrong way. Through a case study of support to civil society within Swedish development cooperation, it focuses on how civil society organisations have experienced the influences of a context which requires them to devote more and more time to administration and internal control, and thereby also pressuring them to become more professionalised. The study indicates that by doing so, the results based management context is creating further tensions in already unequal aid relationships. The results based management context is placing demands on the frame organisations, which need to be 'managed' in the already complex internal and external environments they operate. The study also illustrate examples of how organisations experience and respond to such influences differently, depending on their individual preconditions. Therefore, this study argues that organisations can benefit from relating to their environments, including the results context, consciously. By that I mean reflect on how such influences might affect attitudes, relationships etc. and in the end also the results themselves. By doing so, they are in a better position to mitigate the risks that have been identified in previous research about the potential negative impact of the results based management context.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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