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date: 28 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter evaluates the effectiveness of development non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Africa based on randomized control trials (RCTs). It considers the arguments against the use of RCTs to assess whether NGOs are effective in development by focusing on their three main activities: capacity building, advocacy, and service delivery. It challenges the notion that there is very little scope for rigorous evaluation of capacity building and advocacy activities of NGOs and argues that the case for RCT evaluation NGOs is overstated. More specifically, the article suggests that RCTs may not produce useful estimates owing to the non-hierarchical of organization of NGOs, and instead calls for greater reliance on observational instead of experimental data.

Keywords: development, non-governmental organizations, Africa, randomized control trials, capacity building, advocacy, service delivery

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