Poster Paper: Global Policy Networks Structures and Resource Flows: How International Organizations Engage National Policy Actors in Developing Countries

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Ballroom B (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

M. Jin Lee1, Eric Welch2, Aseffa Seyoum2 and Michael Halewood3, (1)City University of Hong Kong, (2)Arizona State University, (3)Bioversity International
This study explores how International Non-governmental organizations (INGOs) are involved in national policy implementation of international treaties. We ask, do INGOs have a generalizable pattern of interaction with actors in nation-states to facilitate international treaty implementation in developing countries? Specifically, the paper addresses three questions: 1) With which actors of the policy network do INGOs connect?; 2) Is the network pattern similar between countries?; and 3) What kinds of resources do INGOs provide or receive, and with which actors?

The role of INGOs in policy formulation has steadily increased with participatory policy making processes (Fischer et al. 2007; Pülzl and Treib, 2007). As a result of the development of international agreements, international organizations are in positions to regulate policy issue-areas (Risse-Kappen, 1995) and connect domestic structures with international society (Martens, 2006). INGOs are especially active in developing countries where needs and incentives are exist (Livernash, 1992). INGOs have built up diplomatic power through global networks and international regimes, and are equipped with financial and expertise resources.  The relationship between states and INGOs is complex and multifaceted (Raustiala, 1997). INGOs can intervene and monitor national-level policy development and implementation and exercise pressure (eg. political and financial) to institutionalize new direction. Nevertheless, such engagement and persuasion depend upon relationships with policy actors and other key entities at the national level (Evans, Jacobson, and Putman, 1993; Risse-Kappen, 1995).

This study analyzes positions and roles of INGOs in domestic policy implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). It is based on a unique network survey data collected from top policy actors in six developing countries. The ITPGRFA is intended to facilitate access through common pool sharing to plant genetic resources (eg. seeds, DNA, etc.) and fairly allocate the benefits that arise from their utilization. Pooling allows access to new varieties of genetic resources important agricultural development (Esquinas-Alcázar, 2002: 3p.). Benefit sharing provides further incentives to share.

The paper develops a framework for describing relational engagement by INGOs in different countries. It then examines the INGO relationships with key actors, INGO roles and connection patterns, and resource flows between INGOs and national policy actors. Findings demonstrate generalized patterns based on INGO connections and network types. Results promise to further understanding about how INGOs are involved in national level ITPGRFA policy implementation and help nations better recognize structural options for INGO engagement.