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D8 - International Organizations‘ Perceptions of Areas of Limited Statehood

Research project D8 conducted 150 semi-structured expert interviews with staff members from the following seven international and regional organizations: European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Bank (WB). In 2015, we then conducted interviews at the headquarters of international organizations (approx. 80 interviews). As a second step in 2016, we conducted approx. 70 interviews with staff members from international organizations in five select countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Colombia, Niger, and Sierra Leone). The interviews were held in English, French, and Spanish.

We spoke with staff members of international organizations (IOs) about their experiences in areas experiencing different degrees and types of limited statehood. Our primary research interest was in determining how different organizations saw their own role and which opportunities and challenges they perceived in their work in areas of limited statehood. In particular, we asked about perceptions of different contexts of statehood. We were also interested in the form and way in which international organizations implemented projects (for example, with which partners they worked; which factors influenced partner selection etc.). The following made up the different thematic blocks in the interview guidelines: statehood, governance, organizational environment (role of IOs compared to other governance actors), transnational guidelines, the interaction between headquarters and country offices, as well as processes of organizational learning. From a total of six thematic blocks, we focused primarily on statehood and governance.

All conversation partners were assured that the interviews would be treated with the upmost care and confidentiality, and that attribution of statements made in the interview to individual respondents would be prevented as much as possible.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Andrea Liese, aliese@uni-potsdam.de