What makes a good gift in kind? - A case study of second hand donations sent between a Norwegian and Tanzanian NGO
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- Institutt for geografi 
Recent years have seen a change in philanthropic giving away from check writing and towards gifts given in kind (GIKs). Nonmonetary assets like goods, services and voluntary work are donated by corporations, institutions, community groups and private individuals for the greater good at home, or as development assistance abroad. Despite good intentions, critics point to how GIKs may also cause unpredicted consequences in recipient societies, by being badly fit local conditions and needs, and beneficiaries often having little power to hold donors responsible for their deliveries. Given the increase in such donation, I find it relevant to ask how the good GIK recipients may benefit from can be constituted. This master thesis explores the GIK from the perspective of its gift relationship between giver and receiver, arguing the way gifts are given has tremendous effect on how well they may benefit recipients. The research questions have been: 1.Who benefits from the donations? 2. Who controls the donations? and 3. How are partners holding each other accountable? I have investigated these by doing a qualitative case study of a GIK partnership between a Norwegian and Tanzanian NGO, and my findings are analyzed through the lens of Mauss’ theory on gift exchange. Mauss show that relationships may take either an asymmetrical or a cooperative character, depending on how partners are able to reciprocate on their own terms into the relationship. I argue the good GIK lies in such free reciprocation, because it counteracts donor superiority. My findings show that recipients can benefit from GIKs and feel in control over the donations when there is a good climate for cooperation between giver and receiver, leading to better target efficiency and more stable relationships. GIKs channeled through such relationships could be a source of good development assistance. But even when partners actively seek recipients’ interests to lead the partnership, I also found their possibility to hold each other accountable as unequal, and a hesitation to speak about it. While there was willingness for feedback to improve future donations, too much responsibility was put on the recipient for goods already reached Tanzania. This was especially true for high-tech equipment in need of special expertise, which was limited in destination organization.