Khaldoun AbouAssi

Texas A&M
The Bush School of Government & Public Service

4220 TAMU
1099 Allen Building
College Station, TX
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Khaldoun AbouAssi holds a PhD in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University, where he was a research associate at the Campbell Public Affairs Institute. He is an assistant professor in the MPSA program and also offers seminars relevant to MPIA students. AbouAssi received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public administration from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. His research interests include nonprofit theory and management, inter-organizational relations, development theory and management, governance, and civil society’s impact on public policies. He has published extensively on NGOs and international development issues, including donor support for NGOs; some of the publications are based on his professional experiences in Lebanon. AbouAssi also has considerable experience in training civil servants and NGO executives on citizen participation, fund development, volunteerism, and collaboration

AbouAssi, K., & Trent, D. (2013). Understanding Local Participation Amidst Challenges: Evidence from Lebanon in the Global South. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 24(4), 1113-1137.
Abstract: Scholars frame local participation as a continuum of tools, processes, and values, with outcomes primarily serving implementers or beneficiaries. Donors have adopted participation in their policies and are asking local partners in the Global South to implement participation in their work on the ground. Development management practitioners in the Global South have unique understanding and practice of local participation. This article analyzes the status of local participation in Lebanon using recent empirical data. We address Lebanese DM practitioners’ perceptions of participation. They relate that participation is used in a limited way, as a tool at best. We also identify some of the underlying conditions: weak readiness and understanding; lack of coordinated efforts; and rhetorical use of the participation paradigm. The form of participation changes as these conditions change. We recommend modest expectations of citizen participation, investing efforts to develop organizational readiness, enhance cross-sector coordination, and secure more serious donor engagement.
AbouAssi, K. (2012). Hands in the Pockets of Mercurial Donors: NGO Response to Shifting Funding Priorities. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 42(3), 584-602.
Abstract: The NGO–donor relationship is especially volatile. NGOs in developing countries heavily rely on foreign donor funding and donor dominance is evident. This article explores the relationship at times when donors revise funding priorities and partner NGOs try to adapt. The article draws on qualitative research of multiple observations to study the decisions of four NGOs in response to several shifts in donor funding. The analysis reveals variation in NGO responses to such shifts: suspend the relationship, reach common ground, automatically execute the donor’s interests, and voluntarily and deliberately adapt to the situation. Building on Hirschman’s typology, four modes of NGOs’ response are identified: exit, voice, loyalty, and, a newly proposed mode, adjustment. Additional interpretation of NGOs’ responses and possible implications for NGO management are discussed.
AbouAssi, K. (2010). International Development Management through a Southern Lens. Public Administration and Development Journal, 30(2): 116-123.
Abstract: Development Management (DM) has always been seen through the lens of the Global North. Taking its cue from Brinkerhoff and Brinkerhoff's (2010) study on the state of international DM from a Northern perspective, this article provides a complementary perspective from Lebanon in order to spark a North–South debate on the state of DM in terms of its values and institutional agendas and the role of government. The article concludes with a discussion on some implications for policy and practice in Lebanon and the DM more generally, suggesting that the Southern perspective is cautiously more tolerant of politics in development and that the role of government in development should be that of an active partner and facilitator.

Substantive Focus:
Governance PRIMARY
Comparative Public Policy SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus: