Navigation by Judgment: Why and When Top Down Management of Foreign Aid Doesn't Work

ISBN : 9780190672454

Dan Honig
288 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
May 2018
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High-quality implementation of foreign aid interventions sometimes requires employee use of contextual information that will be precluded by tight management control. Drawing from over 130 interviews and statistical analysis of a novel database of over 14,000 discrete development projects, Honig finds that top-down controls sometimes undermine development project success.


Part I: The What, Why, and When of Navigation by Judgment
Chapter 1. Introduction - The Management of Foreign Aid
Chapter 2. When to Let Go: The Costs and Benefits of Navigation by Judgment
Chapter 3. Agents - Who Does the Judging?
Chapter 4. Authorizing Environments & the Perils of Legitimacy Seeking
Part II: How Does Navigation by Judgment Fare in Practice?
Chapter 5. How to Know What Works Better, When: Data, Methods, and Empirical Operationalization
Chapter 6. Journey Without Maps - Environmental Unpredictability and Navigation Strategy
Chapter 7. Tailoring Management to Suit the Task - Project Verifiability and Navigation Strategy
Part III: Implications
Chapter 8. Delegation and Control Revisited
Chapter 9. Conclusion - Implications for the Aid Industry & Beyond
Appendix I: Data Collection
Appendix II: Additional Econometric Analysis

About the author: 

Dan Honig is an Assistant Professor of International Development at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His research focuses on the relationship between organizational structure, management practice, and performance in developing country governments and foreign aid agencies. Honig has held a variety of positions outside of the academy. He served as special assistant and an advisor to successive ministers of finance in Liberia; ran an NGO focused on youth entrepreneurship in agriculture in East Timor; and has worked for local and international organizations in a number of developing countries. A proud Michigander, he holds a BA from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from Harvard's Kennedy School.

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