Earmarked funding and the performance of international organizations: evidence from food and agricultural development agencies

Reinsberg, B. (2023) Earmarked funding and the performance of international organizations: evidence from food and agricultural development agencies. Global Studies Quarterly, 3(4), ksad056. (doi: 10.1093/isagsq/ksad056)

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How do funding structures affect the performance of international organizations (IOs)? Considering the rapid growth of earmarked funding over the past decade, the need to address this question has become a matter of urgency. To answer this question, I divide IO performance into outcome performance (i.e., achieving results that are relevant and sustainable) and process performance (i.e., having systems, rules, and practices that enable IOs to achieve self-defined goals effectively, efficiently, and responsively). Drawing on the principal−agent framework and studies of organizational behavior, I derive expectations about how earmarked funding can affect those performance dimensions. To empirically examine these expectations, I rely on qualitative case studies of three major IOs in food and agricultural development—Food and Agricultural Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and World Food Program—using semi-structured interviews with IO staff and evaluation reports from multiple sources. I find that earmarked funding undermines performance, albeit not uniformly across performance areas and organizational contexts. I highlight the need for future research that considers how funding structures, institutional structures, and organizational behavior interact to affect organizational performance.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship (“Earmarked funding and the effectiveness of international organizations”--MR/V022148/1).
Keywords:Earmarked funding, multi-bi aid, international organizations, food and agriculture, development cooperation, organizational performance.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Reinsberg, Dr Bernhard
Authors: Reinsberg, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Global Studies Quarterly
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):2634-3797
Published Online:19 October 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Global Studies Quarterly 3(4): ksad056
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
311169Earmarked funding and the effectiveness of international development organizations (EF-IO)Bernhard ReinsbergMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/V022148/1S&PS - Politics