The implementation of "value-for-money" as a strategic financing criteria in Danish development aid: A study of the implementation of accounting tools in non-government-organizations

Mads Peder Mørk Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The subject of interest for this thesis is the implementation of the ‘Value-for-money’-standard as a criteria of evaluation for the Danish frame-organizations engaged in development aid. The purpose of this standard is to incentivize that “The organisation has established transparency around goal achievements vs. resources spent”. The frame-organizations are not exactly clear on what this actually implies, as the standard is very novel and vaguely defined, and the ministry has not yet developed an approach on the concept themselves. The purpose of the thesis is to analyze the process of implementing the standard in the Danish frame-organizations through an elaborate analysis of the developments surrounding its implementation. It is the intention that the analysis can provide some clarity on what the standard imply, identify how the frame-organizations can comply with the standard and finally come with a hypothesis for the future of the standard. In analyzing the subject, the thesis draws on Actor-Network-theory as a means of identifying the translations in the network around the standard. More specifically, the thesis applies Michael Callons analytical framework of ‘four moments of translation’ in order to identify the given actors and their identities. The results of the study is that the national auditors of Denmark is the problematizing actor. They problematize the evaluation of the frame-organizations based on an underlying paradigm of new public management. This underlying paradigm becomes even more evident in the result of the problematization, which is a new model that will guide the evaluation of the organizations. Part of this model is the value-for-money standard, which some of the frame-organizations complies with, while others ignore it. The organizations that do comply with the standard, does so by introducing specific and numerical measures related to the 3 E’s of performance auditing. In essence, they start transforming their accounting systems from financial accounting to management accounting though these transformations are small at this point in the network. In general, most actors in the network interprets the standard as a program of performance auditing. The frame organizations raises some concerns with respect to ethics and whether it is actually possible to comply with the standard within the specific context that they work. In conclusion, it is hypothesized that the value-for-money standard is likely to be a part of the future for the Danish frame-organizations, and that more of them will start complying with the ‘performance-auditing-program’ of the standard. This will gradually transform the organizations, as the organizations will introduce more elaborate accounting systems to comply with the standard.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages75