The Business of Development - How Market-Oriented State Policies influence Danish NGOs

Jasper Johansen, Mikkel Busck & Magnus Tor Hansen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Abstract Non-Governmental Organizations [NGOs] represent civil society and navigate between the state and the market trying to survive while not going against their values. This report examines the changed funding policies of 2005 from Danida towards Danish NGOs in regards to informational activities and own-contribution. The report asks why this funding has been changed, when NGOs are vital in informing the public, and what the consequences are for the NGOs. The first analysis explores the background to the policy changes, examining how market rationalities and state priorities are recognizable in the policies. This examination is initiated through findings on how levels of aid has witnessed a change in 2001, suddenly reflecting how international aid levels fluctuate according to ideology, and on the trend towards lesser knowledge about development in the Danish public. The analysis draws on theory describing the evolvement of international development policies and on theoretical inputs on the importance of domestic priorities in development policy, in order to examine how international and domestic ideologies are influencing the Danish policy. The second analysis, examines the changing organizational structure of NGOs as a consequence of the policies of 2005. Through theory from organizational research and interviews with key persons from Danish development NGOs the influence from the market and the state is explored. It is concluded that the reasons for the changed policies must be seen in light of the lower priorities given to development aid in general after 2001, the influence of domestically-oriented political parties, and the ideological opinion that increased competition on market terms constitutes the most efficient way to secure public opinion for NGOs. This report finds that although public support to NGOs has gone up, a simultaneous decline in public knowledge on development has taken place. Furthermore it is concluded that although NGOs have increased market-oriented strategies to secure funding, they have not necessarily gone against their values. However, there seems to be reason for concern looking at how the state controls NGOs while transferring market rationalities through New Public Management instruments.

UddannelserInternationale Udviklingsstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato22 maj 2012
VejledereMogens Buch-Hansen


  • Danida
  • NGO
  • Development
  • New Public Management