First Advisor

David T. Kinsella

Date of Publication

Winter 3-11-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Affairs and Policy


Public Affairs and Policy




Non-governmental organizations -- Evaluation, Food security, Social capital (Sociology), Resource allocation



Physical Description

1 online resource (xiii, 285 pages)


Food insecurity and chronic hunger are devastating global problems currently facing more than a billion people. There are many actors involved in the response to stomp out world hunger, including International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs). These INGOs, however, work in tumultuous environments with limited resources. This dissertation examines the INGOs involved in the food security dilemma (N=51) to investigate how they use resources to reach hungry populations.

It is hypothesized INGOs use a mix of material resources and social capital to enhance their organizational performance. However, little is known about the impact these resources have on reaching communities in need. Social network analysis is used to examine the connections between and among INGOs to create a measure of organizational social capital. In addition, material resources, such as human resources, revenue and volunteers are used to examine an organization's material capacity. Material and social resources are examined through a moderated regression analysis to evaluate how they interact, and if the promotion of both types of resources is beneficial to the INGOs and the communities they serve. With data from over 1186 projects globally, results are presented regarding the effectiveness of social capital and material resources in reaching the world's "bottom billion."


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