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Where are the NGOs and why? The distribution of health and development NGOs in Bolivia.

Galway LP, Corbett KK, Zeng L - Global Health (2012)

Bottom Line: The uneven distribution of NGO activity may suggest a lack of co-ordination among NGOs working in Bolivia as well as a lack of co-ordination among NGO funders.Our findings also indicate that neither general nor health specific NGO activity is related to population need, when defined as population health status or education level or poverty levels.Considering these results we discuss broader implications for global health and development and make several recommendations relevant for development and health practice and research.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Blusson Hall 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. lpg@sfu.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: The presence and influence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the landscape of global health and development have dramatically increased over the past several decades. The distribution of NGO activity and the ways in which contextual factors influence the distribution of NGO activity across geographies merit study. This paper explores the distribution of NGO activity, using Bolivia as a case study, and identifies local factors that are related to the distribution of NGO activity across municipalities in Bolivia.

Methods: The research question is addressed using a geographic information system (GIS) and multiple regression analyses of count data. We used count data of the total number of NGO projects across Bolivian municipalities to measure NGO activity both in general and in the health sector specifically and national census data for explanatory variables of interest.

Results: This study provides one of the first empirical analyses exploring factors related to the distribution of NGO activity at the national scale. Our analyses show that NGO activity in Bolivia, both in general and health-sector specific, is distributed unevenly across the country. Results indicate that NGO activity is related to population size, extent of urbanization, size of the indigenous population, and health system coverage. Results for NGO activity in general and health-sector specific NGO activity were similar.

Conclusions: The uneven distribution of NGO activity may suggest a lack of co-ordination among NGOs working in Bolivia as well as a lack of co-ordination among NGO funders. Co-ordination of NGO activity is most needed in regions characterized by high NGO activity in order to avoid duplication of services and programmes and inefficient use of limited resources. Our findings also indicate that neither general nor health specific NGO activity is related to population need, when defined as population health status or education level or poverty levels. Considering these results we discuss broader implications for global health and development and make several recommendations relevant for development and health practice and research.

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NGO evolution over time in Bolivia: 1931–2005.
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Figure 1: NGO evolution over time in Bolivia: 1931–2005.

Mentions: The evolution of the NGO sector in Bolivia has followed the four waves of NGO evolution outlined in Table1. NGOs were practically non-existent prior to the 1980s, after which the number of NGOs in Bolivia increased exponentially (see Figure1). In 1980, government estimates suggest that there were only 39 NGOs working in the nation and upwards of 600 by the end of the 20th century[36]. The most dramatic expansion in scale, scope, and influence of NGOs in Bolivia occurred between 1985 and 1995.


Where are the NGOs and why? The distribution of health and development NGOs in Bolivia.

Galway LP, Corbett KK, Zeng L - Global Health (2012)

NGO evolution over time in Bolivia: 1931–2005.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3539961&req=5

Figure 1: NGO evolution over time in Bolivia: 1931–2005.
Mentions: The evolution of the NGO sector in Bolivia has followed the four waves of NGO evolution outlined in Table1. NGOs were practically non-existent prior to the 1980s, after which the number of NGOs in Bolivia increased exponentially (see Figure1). In 1980, government estimates suggest that there were only 39 NGOs working in the nation and upwards of 600 by the end of the 20th century[36]. The most dramatic expansion in scale, scope, and influence of NGOs in Bolivia occurred between 1985 and 1995.

Bottom Line: The uneven distribution of NGO activity may suggest a lack of co-ordination among NGOs working in Bolivia as well as a lack of co-ordination among NGO funders.Our findings also indicate that neither general nor health specific NGO activity is related to population need, when defined as population health status or education level or poverty levels.Considering these results we discuss broader implications for global health and development and make several recommendations relevant for development and health practice and research.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Blusson Hall 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. lpg@sfu.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: The presence and influence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the landscape of global health and development have dramatically increased over the past several decades. The distribution of NGO activity and the ways in which contextual factors influence the distribution of NGO activity across geographies merit study. This paper explores the distribution of NGO activity, using Bolivia as a case study, and identifies local factors that are related to the distribution of NGO activity across municipalities in Bolivia.

Methods: The research question is addressed using a geographic information system (GIS) and multiple regression analyses of count data. We used count data of the total number of NGO projects across Bolivian municipalities to measure NGO activity both in general and in the health sector specifically and national census data for explanatory variables of interest.

Results: This study provides one of the first empirical analyses exploring factors related to the distribution of NGO activity at the national scale. Our analyses show that NGO activity in Bolivia, both in general and health-sector specific, is distributed unevenly across the country. Results indicate that NGO activity is related to population size, extent of urbanization, size of the indigenous population, and health system coverage. Results for NGO activity in general and health-sector specific NGO activity were similar.

Conclusions: The uneven distribution of NGO activity may suggest a lack of co-ordination among NGOs working in Bolivia as well as a lack of co-ordination among NGO funders. Co-ordination of NGO activity is most needed in regions characterized by high NGO activity in order to avoid duplication of services and programmes and inefficient use of limited resources. Our findings also indicate that neither general nor health specific NGO activity is related to population need, when defined as population health status or education level or poverty levels. Considering these results we discuss broader implications for global health and development and make several recommendations relevant for development and health practice and research.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus