The first part of my thesis focuses essentially in understanding what factors make or don’t make private development assistance (development aid by non-governmental organizations, foundations, etc) efficient.

As my educational background is engineering, I put the results from the literature review and my Finnish-Nigerian case study into a table, which I then developed into a diagram to show their relations.

I think the result is very interesting.

The blue boxes represent characteristics of the private development assistance sector, and red boxes outcomes or effects. I’ve explained why I relate these boxes in this particular way through different theories ranging from knowledge management to systems thinking and communications theory. The first draft of the diagram is here:

Diagram of causes and effects contributing to efficiency in private development assistance

Most initiatives in the development sector seem to focus on such issues as creating common agreements that everyone should follow (sort of compilation of practices like “tell how much money you give”), starting small initiatives of sharing knowledge between the participants, and exploring the different perceptions of knowledge (such as gender-specific knowledge). And most initiatives to make the development aid more efficient seem to try to create major coordination bodies and international agreements. But I’m increasingly thinking that the efficiency of the development assistance is to a large degree a question of the interconnectedness of the different actors. And one of the reasons why they have so little relations to each other is that the information is just so unstructured.

I would like to encourage the readers of this post to contact me if you work on something related or have ideas on the causes and effects of private development assistance efficiency. My email address is ilona dot makinen at gmail dot com.

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