Information from Documents

The results reported below also rely, to some extent, on documents produced by the NGOs themselves. Unfortunately, among the NGOs we studied, only the international NGOs operating in Cameroon and a few of the larger and better funded Cameroonian-based NGOs had Internet sites. We do draw on material from these sites; however, the Cameroonian work of international NGOs rarely received extensive coverage on their websites, and the Internet sites of Cameroonian-based organization contained a significant amount of outdated information—a problem also encountered occasionally on the websites of the international NGOs.

Some of the NGOs we interviewed also provided us with original documents, such as annual reports, grant proposals, PowerPoint presentations, and even video documentaries about their work. In a few cases, especially with better funded NGOs, we asked for specific documents that had been mentioned in interviews, but we did not, in general, make blanket requests for documents from our interviewees. Many of the smaller, underfunded organizations had few, if any, documents to give us, and others lacked functioning printers or copiers to make copies for us. We feared that the lack of relevant documents might embarrass some interviewees and that the time consumed by efforts to produce the requested documents would detract from the already lengthy interviews. Nevertheless, the documents we did obtain proved quite useful in enlarging our understanding of some aspects of NGO structure and operations.

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