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Title Nationality on the Developing Community's Acceptance of NGOs
Post date 05/12/2015
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale

"When the British colonized Kenya in the early 20th century, they fiercely fought to eliminate female genital cutting (FGC), which they deemed as pagan. However, this practice had significant cultural and historical meaning to Kenyans, and foreign attempts at eradication often led to violence (Anderson 2005). Notwithstanding this local resistance, Western feminists entered Kenya in the 1950s and created non-government organizations (NGOs) aimed at wiping out FGC. These Western efforts proved fruitless, and it was not until African women themselves began speaking up against this cultural tradition that Kenyans became receptive to anti-FGC
NGOs, resulting in the gradual waning of this practice (World Health Organization).

Is local support a necessary condition for the success of NGOs that aim to eradicate practices deemed acceptable to local cultures, but that violate what Westerners view as universal human rights? Specifically, will NGOs fighting sex trafficking in Thailand be more efficacious with greater local representation in the NGOs? Knowing how local communities will respond to foreign NGOs is vital given that much of the developing world relies on huge amounts of foreign aid funneled into development-focused NGOs or supra-national foreign agencies (Easterly 2006). In addition, given the gendered bias of sex trafficking, to what extent does this local support rely on the involvement of women in NGOs? This second point may be especially problematic in countries where patriarchy is strong.

To explore these questions, we will conduct an experiment in the northern Thailand this coming summer. Researchers in American politics have used experiments extensively to study how dimensions of identity, such as race and gender, affect perception of candidates and policy decisions (White 2007; Waismel-Manor & Stroud 2013). There have been few studies to date that explore such dynamics in non-Western contexts (Wantchekon 1999). Our research would add to this growing body of literature that explores how nationality affects perceptions of policies and organizations. We hope to improve the work of NGOs fighting against sex trafficking. Specifically, to understand the effect of NGO nationality and gender of NGO workers on receptivity of the NGO in local Thai communities."

C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

"Is local support a necessary condition for the success of NGOs that aim to eradicate practices deemed acceptable to local cultures, but that violate what Westerners view as universal human rights?

Specifically, will NGOs fighting sex trafficking in Thailand be more efficacious with greater local representation in the NGOs?"

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

"The exact language of the proposal will be developed through fieldwork, including personal interviews with actual NGOs and focus groups. Respondents will rate their favorability toward the NGO using a standard feeling thermometer. We will present the same proposal as a flyer on which we will place the face of an
individual identified as an important person within the NGO’s, along with their name. Depending on complicity with local NGOs, we envision these being real individuals in a real anti-sex-trafficking NGO. We will vary the nationality and gender of the person shown in the picture. The person will be either a native Thai or a Caucasian American. We will also vary the gender of the person shown. In total, there will be four versions of the flyer: a female American, a male American, a female Thai, or a male Thai. We will randomly assign participants to view one of these four flyers.

Before being exposed to the NGO flyer, all participants will take a pre-survey assessment that collects basic information such as gender, age, ethnicity, political ideology and level of education. We will use this information to study any kind of correlation between these covariates and our dependent variable.

After conducting the experiment, we will use standard statistical techniques to assess our theory."

C4 Country
C5 Scale (# of Units) not provided by authors
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number not provided by authors
C9 Date of IRB Approval not provided by authors
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Researchers
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? Yes
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors