USAID’s Approach to NGO Funding in Slovakia and Hungary

JVF Conference Papers

Most studies that assess assistance to Eastern Europe for democratic and economic transition focus on its overall impact-successes and failures.

They either analyze the progress of one country or of one sector across several countries, but none examine the actual process of grant giving from inception to conclusion, the chain of transactions between a foreign donor and local recipients. In this paper, I focus on grants given for the development of the non-governmental sector. Perhaps this is a dull and overlooked topic because it follows a standardized pattern of award giving. These grant processes, however, are interesting because they operate in a bicultural environment. They import new bureaucratic patterns, and, thereby, effect changes toward democracy. This same bureaucracy is then utilized to minimize and prevent potential problems that may arise due to cultural differences and business behavior.

A byproduct of this new bureaucracy is that they effect the creation of civil society and democratic processes in an unexpected manner.

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