Private Transnational Governance of Economic Development: International Development Aid

Book Section

This chapter examines the role of private actors in raising, allocating, and implementing international development aid (understood as resources supposedly intended to lastingly improve the well-being of individuals and groups in another country). Private individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have long been important actors in the transnational governance of economic development through aid. Yet some, such as foundations providing funds for development projects in other countries, have become much more prominent in international development during the last two decades while others, such as NGOs, have become far more numerous or have taken on new roles. we organize our discussion around a distinction between four different kinds of new actors (or actors who have taken on new roles): (1) transnational NGOs as a channel of delivery for public (governmental) development aid; (2) transnational aid NGOs as agenda-setters; (3) foundations and other private sources of development aid; (4) transnational aid NGOs as private providers of privately funded aid. For each of them, we discuss the sources of their power and influence and examine how ideas about development and aid have shaped the rise of these new players, identifying throughout promising and important areas for future research. In the final section, we consider peer-to-peer development aid and related innovative attempts to solve pervasive accountability problems in development aid. Our review of the research frontier on this issue suggests: Increasingly, an analysis of global economic governance through development aid without attention to private players is not just incomplete but is likely to result in biased analyses and misguided policy advice.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Büthe, T; Cheng, C

Cited Editors

  • Moschella, M; Weaver, C

Published Date

  • 2013

Book Title

  • Handbook of Global Economic Governance

Start / End Page

  • 322 - 341

Published By