ICT and an NGO: Difficulties in attempting to be extremely transparent
- 506 Downloads
This paper analyzes the opportunities offered by information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the related ethical issues, within the transparency practices of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Based upon a one-year study of a European NGO, the Italian Association of Blind People, it presents compelling empirical evidence concerning the main ethical, social and economic challenges that NGOs face in the development of more transparent relationships with the public and the related role of ICTs, in particular, the organization’s website. This study shows that, although the attempt to be completely transparent has great ethical value, ICT-enabled information disclosure is limited by privacy and security concerns and by pressure from financial supporters and benefactors and potential NGO competitors who vie for grants and donations. The paper provides some implications and suggestions for managers of NGOs and policy makers.
KeywordsNon-governmental organization Transparency
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Cohen, J. (2004). Governance by and of NGOs. AccountAbility, London.Google Scholar
- Daniele, T. (2005). Lettera Aperta ai Delegati (Open letter to the delegates) Prot. 17496 of 01/09/2005.Google Scholar
- DiPiazza, S. A., & Eccles, R. G. (2002). Building public trust: The future of corporate reporting. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Dunn, J. (1999). Situating democratic public accountability. In A. Przeworski, S. C. Stokes, & B. Manin (Eds.), Democracy, accountability, and representation (pp. 329–344). Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Fagotto, E., & Graham, M. (2008). Full disclosure: using transparency to fight climate change. Issues in Science and Technology (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- Fung, A., Graham, M., & Weil, D. (2007). Full disclosure: The perils and promise of transparency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Gibelman, M., & Gelman, S. R. (2001). Very public scandals: Nongovernmental organizations in trouble. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 12(1): 49–66.Google Scholar
- Hess, D. (2007). Social reporting and new governance regulation: The prospects of achieving corporate accountability through transparency. Business Ethics Quarterly, 17(3): 453–476.Google Scholar
- Horta, H., & Vaccaro, A. (2008). Accountability, transparency and ICT: Ethical perspectives in the University sector. In A. Vaccaro, H. Horta, & P. Madsen (Eds.), Information and Communication Technologies and Transparency: Social Responsibility and Accountability in Business and Education. Charlottesville, VA: Philosophical Documentation Center.Google Scholar
- Independent Sector. (2005). Strengthening transparency, governance, accountability of charitable organizations.Google Scholar
- Jordan, L. (2003). Mechanisms for NGO Accountability. GPPI Research Paper Series No.3 Global Public Policy Institute: Berlin.Google Scholar
- Keohane, R. O. (2002). Commentary on the democratic accountability of non-governmental organizations. Chicago Journal of International Law, 3(2): 477–479.Google Scholar
- Kirk, J., & Miller, M. (1986). Reliability and validity in qualitative research. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Kovach, H., Neligan, C., & Burall, S. (2003a). Power without Accountability? Executive Summary of the Global Accountability Report (Electronic), Last Access March 2007 from http://www.oneworldtrust.org/htmlGAP/.
- Kovach, H., Neligan, C., & Burall, S. (2003b). Power without Accountability? Global Accountability, Report (Electronic) Last access, March 2007 from http://www.oneworldtrust.org/htmlGAP/report.
- Leonardi, P. M., & Bailey, D. E. (2008). Transformational technologies and the creation of new work practices: Making implicit knowledge explicit in task-based offshoring. MIS Quarterly, 32(2): 411–436.Google Scholar
- Marschall, M. (2002). Legitimacy and effectiveness: civil society organizations’ role in good governance, paper presented at the␣poverty reduction strategies forum, Baden, Austria, October 29–November 1.Google Scholar
- Merton, R., Fisk, M., & Kendall, P. (1990). The focused interview: A manual of problems and procedures (2nd ed.). New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
- Relazione al Conto Consultivo. (2007). della Sede Centrale dell’Unione Italiana dei Ciechi e degli Ipovedenti per l’Esercizio.Google Scholar
- Schwartz, J. (2007). Transparency lost in the fog’, The New York Times, available at thehttp://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/08/business/yourmoney/08fog.html?ex=1333684800&en=4bb6b8922af61b02&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss (Last visit 7/27/2007).
- Spiro, P. J. (2001). Accounting for NGOs. Chicago Journal of International Law, 13(1): 161–169.Google Scholar
- Statuto Sociale dell’Unione Italiana dei Ciechi e degli Ipovedenti Onlus, delibera n. 4 in data 19–20 Ottobre 2002, Roma.Google Scholar
- Tapscott, D., & Ticoll, D. (2003). The naked corporation. Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Thompson, C. (2007). The see through CEO. Wired, 15(04): available at the http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.04/wired40_ceo.html (last visit 07/28/2007).
- Tilt, C. A. (2004). NOG issues of accountability, School of Commerce Research Paper Series: 05- 7, ISSN:1441-3906.Google Scholar
- Vaccaro, A. (2006). Privacy, security and transparency: ICT-related ethical perspectives and contrasts in contemporary firms. In D. Howcroft, E. Trauth, & J. I. DeGross (Eds.), Social inclusion: Societal and organizational implications for information systems. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Vaccaro, A., Horta, H., & Madsen, P. (2008). Transparency and information and communication technologies: Social responsibility and accountability in business and education. Charlottesville, VA: Philosophical Documentation Center.Google Scholar
- Vaccaro, P., & Madsen, P. (2006). Firms’ information transparency: Ethical questions in the information age. In J. Berleur (Ed.), Social informatics: An information society for all? New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Vaccaro, A., & Madsen, P. (2007a). Corporate transparency: The new IT-driven ethics? Carnegie Mellon Research Paper Series # 4123201779.Google Scholar
- Yin, R. K. (1999). Case study research-design and methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Zyzanski, S. J., McWhinney, I. R., Blake, R., Crabtree, B. F., & Miller, W. L. (1992). Qualitative research: Perspectives on the future. In B. F. Crabtree & W. L. Miller (Eds.), Doing qualitative research, pp. 231–248. Newbury Park CA, US: Sage.Google Scholar