Motivation and challenge: Working for international nongovernmental organizations in Cambodia

  • Dick Pratt University of Hawai‘i e Manoa Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
  • Sekson Yongvanit University of Hawai‘i e Manoa Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
Keywords: Cambodia, INGO environment, local level leader, motivation and challenge


The factors that motivate Cambodians working for International Nonprofit Organizations (INGOs) were explored and compared to perceived challenges to their ability to be effective. It was based on interviews conducted with individuals working for INGOs in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh and the regional city of Battambang. For most, the primary motivations were not pragmatic, but about learning, having an impact, and making a difference.The external environment, rather than personal or organizational issues, brought the primary challenges. The balance between motivation and challenge among these “idealistic” individuals may be important in shaping their future commitments and impact on society.


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