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Administrative Failure and the International NGO Response to Hurricane Katrina

Authors


Angela M. Eikenberry is an assistant professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her main research interests are civil society, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropy and their role in democratic society. She has published articles in Public Administration Review, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and Administrative Theory and Praxis.
E-mail: aeikenberry@mail.unomaha.edu

Verónica M. Arroyave is a doctoral student in planning, globalization, and governance at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs. Her main research focus is corporate social responsibility and its role in humanitarian action by way of nongovernmental organizations. She has several years of experience working with global health and humanitarian organizations.
E-mail: varroya@vt.edu

Tracy Cooper is a doctoral student in planning, globalization, and governance at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs. Her main research interests are leadership issues affecting international nongovernmental organizations, humanitarian relief, and international development.
E-mail: coopertl@vt.edu

Abstract

The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent failure of government agencies and public administrators elicited an unprecedented response by international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) to a disaster in the United States. This paper focuses on why so many INGOs were compelled to provide humanitarian assistance and relief in the United States for the first time and the administrative barriers they faced while doing so. What does such a response reveal about administrative failures in the wake of Katrina, and what might the implications be for reconceptualizing roles for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations in disaster relief? The authors answer these questions using data from interviews with INGO representatives, organizational press releases and Web sites, news articles, and official reports and documentation.

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