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Non-governmental Organisations and Democracy: An Empirical Analysis

Tania Masi


The United Nations established in 2005 the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), whose objective is to support projects submitted by national NGOs aimed at increasing government accountability. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of NGOs activity on democracy exploiting the UNDEF database. An empirical analysis based on a propensity score matching (PSM) method is implemented on a sample of 102 developing countries. The findings indicate that the average treatment effect on the treated (ATT) is positive and significant only when countries receive UNDEF-funded NGOs projects for three rounds or more. In this case the Polity IV indicator improves by an average of 1.08 points with respect to the level of 2005.

Corresponding author: Tania Masi, University of Verona, Verona, Italy, E-mail:


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Published Online: 2015-9-3
Published in Print: 2015-12-1

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