The Effect of Government Intervention on the Operational Decisions of NGOs: Evidence from Uganda, Cambodia, and Serbia

Civil society has been a key force for democratic accountability around the world. To limit oversight and mobilization by civil society, governments with authoritarian tendencies often use harassment to repress the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). However, NGOs engage in a variety of activities, ranging from delivering health services to mobilizing citizens for contentious collective action, and repression likely affects NGOs in these sectors differently. Similarly, repression is used differently across settings, driven by variation in state capacity, legal environments, etc. These differences across NGO activities and government behavior have implications for the activities NGOs are willing to undertake, the locations where they are willing to work, and the types of partnerships they are willing to enter into. To understand these dynamics, we conduct a series of conjoint survey experiments on NGO employees in three countries.