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Accounting for International Development Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Open Access


Other title
International development
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
Central America
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Martinez, Daniel E.
Supervisor and department
Cooper, David (Faculty of Business)
Examining committee member and department
Haggerty, Kevin (Department of Sociology)
Aitken, Rob (Department of Political Science)
Lounsbury, Michael (Faculty of Business)
Mouritsen, Jan (Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School)
Neu, Dean (Schulich School of Business, York University)
Faculty of Business
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The two essays in this dissertation help us to better understand the types, functions, and effects of management and accounting requirements within non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the way they are implicated in the process of constructing and managing international development in Guatemala and El Salvador. Specifically, the first essay studies the management and accounting requirements that activist (rights- and volunteer-based) organizations and development NGOs adopt in order to be eligible for grants. I describe the funding requirements and explore how they are implicated in constituting the international development assemblage. This is explained through Deleuze and Guattari’s (1987) “state-form:” a mode of governance whereby the “state apparatus of capture” hierarchically stratifies, gives a certain form and stability, to the international development assemblage. There is however contestation, as strategies are employed by NGOs to leak financial and political resources to organizations that would otherwise not be eligible for funding. This study seeks to extend the work that has critically examined the way accounting is implicated in arranging a field of governance and starts to address calls for more research on the way accounting requirements alter NGOs’ advocacy and mission. In the second essay I study the transformation and mobilization of the Logical Framework, a project planning and performance assessment tool that is widely used in international development. A feature of the Logical Framework is that, as an inscription, it is used to summarize projects into visually separate components through a “simple” matrix. Another feature is that it shape changes. To explain this I consider how other inscriptions and practices are implicated in the Logical Framework: how they plug (mobilize) components into each other how the Logical Framework’s boundaries are made “fluid”: blurring (transforming) its, but also each others’, descriptive and functional boundaries. I argue that the Logical Framework is enacted in multiple ways: an inscription for project design becomes a tool for strategic, operational, and budgetary control. These findings contribute to our understanding of management and accounting controls in international development organizations and the transformation and mobilization of accounting inscriptions.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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