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The Good ProjectHumanitarian Relief NGOs and the Fragmentation of Reason$
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Monika Krause

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226131221

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226131535.001.0001

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Beneficiaries as a Commodity

Beneficiaries as a Commodity

(p.39) Two Beneficiaries as a Commodity
The Good Project

Monika Krause

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores what the pursuit of the good project in humanitarian relief means for how managers imagine people in need. The role of the populations being served has often been ignored by economists researching non-profit firms, third-party buying or charitable giving. It has been misunderstood by theorists of civil society who either posit populations in need as entirely separate from NGOs or as entirely the same as NGOs. When agencies produce projects for a quasi-market in which institutional donors are the consumers, populations in need are part of the product being packaged and sold by relief organizations. This means beneficiaries are put in a position where they are in competition with each other to become part of a project. As a mode of governance, in addition to the benefits for those in need emphasized by liberal observers and the forms of direct domination highlighted by critics, we also find a form of indirect domination in humanitarian relief, which is mediated by the market for projects.

Keywords:   beneficiaries, non-profit firms, clients, organizations, humanitarian relief, civil society, third-party buying, charitable giving, indirect domination, institutional donors

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