NGO Research Day 2021

The NGO Research Day 2021 discusses to what extent and how technology shapes the modern perceptions of the sector, its performance, governance and accountability and NGO identities.

NGO Performance, Governance and Accountability in the Era of Digitalisation

Workshop: 17 March 2021

Venue: This event will be held online

Submissions: Those wishing to present at the workshop should contact Galina Goncharenko ( by 17 January 2021 together with a one page outline of the paper including theory, method and key findings.

Authors of selected papers from the workshop will be invited to submit revised papers for this special issue, subject to the normal review processes of the journal. Early expression of interest is encouraged.

Extended Deadline for proposals: 17 January 2021

Registration Deadline: 15 February 2021 (for paper authors) / 1 March 2021 (for all other participants)

Please register to attend using the form below.


The private, public and non-profit sectors are increasingly affected by digital technologies. The operation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) takes place in a wider social context in which technology and social media platforms facilitate significant change and transformation. NGOs and their donors mobilise digital solutions for various purposes, such as fundraising stakeholder and community engagement and online accountability and reporting discourses. Online platforms and social media establish new arenas for communication and provide new spaces for discourses. In addition, technology transforms the power relations and interactions in the sector, for example by empowering beneficiaries to raise their voices and motivating regulators to acknowledge the effects of globalisation in the sector.

Given the significant impact of digitisation, the NGO Research Day 2021 discusses to what extent and how technology shapes the modern perceptions of the sector, its performance, governance and accountability and NGO identities.

  • Call for Papers

    This NGO Research Day is connected to a Special Issue of The British Accounting Review that calls for reassessing NGO performance, governance and accountability in the new settings and contexts of digitalisation, but also the concerns, ambiguities and threats posed by technology.

    The organisers welcome proposals that explore the following topics:

    • Performance, governance and accountability changes that are mediated by technology.
    • Technological acceleration of NGO activism in the areas of shadow, alternative and counteraccounting.
    • NGO accountability online and the utilisation of social media platforms for accountability discourses.
    • Stakeholder engagement and stakeholder voices through technology.
    • The usability of technology for reaching out to beneficiaries and building effective feedback/communication channels.
    • Facilitation of regulatory assessment and reporting through technology.
    • The supporting role of technology in social enterprises in microfinance.
    • The utilisation of technology for shaping NGO identities.
    • The future of technological development and NGO digital capability.
    • The deployment of technology for (management) control issues in the sector.
    • Ethical aspects of (the use of) technology and online communication.
    • The role of technology and digital solutions in fundraising.
    • The relationship between technology, human capital and power dynamics in NGOs.
    • Use of technology in NGOs as response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The organisers are also open to other topics which fit the underlying general theme of this special issue.

    The submission deadline for proposals is 17 January 2021.

  • Draft Programme

    Wednesday 17 March 2021



    Virtual Room 1

    Virtual Room 2

    9:00 - 9:20

    Welcome address 

    Carolyn Cordery, Professor in Accounting, Aston Business School

    Galina Goncharenko, Lecturer in Accounting, University of Sussex Business School


    9:20 - 10:00

    Keynote presentation 

    Rise of the machines: the use and usefulness of artificial intelligence in NGOs

    Hans Van der Heijden, Professor of Accounting, University of Sussex Business School


    10:00 - 10:10



    10:10 - 11:30

    Parallel session 1

    Theme TBC

    Parallel session 2

    Theme TBC

    11:30 - 12:00



    12:00 - 13:20

    Parallel session 3

    Theme TBC

    Parallel session 4

    Theme TBC

    13:20 - 13:30



    13:30 - 14:50

    Parallel session 5

    Theme TBC

    Parallel session 6

    Theme TBC

    14:50 - 15:00

    Closing remarks and presentation of the special issue

    Tobias Polzer, Senior Lecturer in Accounting, University of Sussex Business School



For more information about submissions, please contact Galina Goncharenko:

For information about registration, please contact