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By Liesbet Heyse

The relevant query during this publication is how non-governmental humanitarian relief corporations begin, terminate and expand their venture actions. Humanitarian reduction firms on a regular basis face tough judgements approximately lifestyles and dying in a context of significant time constraints which strength them to day-by-day decide on whom to aid and whom to not support. Heyse specializes in how humanitarian relief firms make most of these judgements and gives an inside of view of the decision-making approaches. NGO case reports are used as representation: Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) and appearing with church buildings jointly (ACT) either one of which function in a world community and signify particular forms of NGOs usually present in the neighborhood. This booklet is one among few that opens up the black field of NGO operations, presents an empirical account of organizational choice making and combines insights of organizational decision-making concept and association concept.

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In other words, NGOs either fill in a vacuum between market and the state or become arenas of ‘political contestation’ as a ‘response to the hegemony of formal institutions’ (Clarke, 1998:45, 41). 1 Various perspectives on the role and function of NGOs Academic perspectives Political perspectives NGOs are political in nature Leftist view: NGOs as vehicles of democratization – they strengthen civil society and add to the creation of checks and balances in society – they represent the institutionalization of existing patterns of political contestation between the state and civil society and within civil society – they represent a collection of individuals engaged in the struggle for human dignity NGOs are instrumental in nature Liberals: NGOs as substitution of the state or market Neoliberals: NGOs as complementary to the state or the market The debate about the role and function of NGOs has not been resolved.

It is these types of rules that create patterned behavior among individuals. They have a specific character because they reflect duties and obligations that are part of the contextual setting of the decision to be taken. These duties and obligations define the set of norms and roles that constrain the individual in the decision-making process (March and Olsen 1989; Searing 1991:1241; March 1994). They are the products of a historical process of organizational learning and adjustment (March and Olsen 1989:38; Biddle 1986:67, 69).

Variation in national context would hence undermine our purposes of studying the internal dynamics of NGOs in relation to variation in the organizational set up. The national context in which these two NGOs selected for this study operate is The Netherlands. The Netherlands is a substantial player in the humanitarian aid system. Not only is The Netherlands a major donor of humanitarian funding (Randel & German, 2002), The Netherlands is also a relevant diplomatic actor regarding humanitarian issues.

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