Nonprofit Research Seminar: “NGO Advocacy Strategies in Authoritarian Contexts: Funders, Peers and Professionalization”

Monday, February 11 at 12:00pm to 1:15pm

This is a past event.

Lewis Hall (RGL), RGL 308
650 Childs Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Nonprofit Research Seminar Series – Spring 2019
Hosted by The USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy

Mary Kay Gugerty
Nancy Bell Evans Professor of Nonprofit Management, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
Faculty Director, Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits & Philanthropy
University of Washington

The strategies that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) pursue to achieve mission are consequential for the communities they serve and for their own survival, with perhaps none more significant than engagement in advocacy. In many countries, advocacy has become an increasingly common strategy for service-providing NGOs (or nonprofits) to incorporate into their repertoire. Advocacy has become more salient for NGOs in other contexts as well, particularly as rights-based approaches to development have gained traction. Advocacy nevertheless entails considerable risks in many countries, potentially bringing NGOs into conflict with powerful groups that oppose their agendas and many NGOs consequently avoid all advocacy activity. We contribute to research on NGOs as strategic actors by exploring NGO engagement in advocacy using a sample of 134 domestic and international NGOs operating in Cambodia. We consider advocacy to be a strategy that incorporates multiple activities or tactics and model participation in advocacy as well as advocacy toolkit breadth (based on five different tactics). Drawing on organizational theory and principal-agent theory for our conceptual frame, we find that NGO embeddedness in civil society and government relationships and NGO professionalization are associated with advocacy. INGO funding also appears to be associated with more engagement in advocacy, while earned income is associated with less engagement.

Kindly RSVP to by Thursday, February 7th. 

Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop


Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff


University Park Campus



Price School of Public Policy
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