The sociomateriality of digitalisation in Nepalese NGOs

Adhikari, Pawan, Upadhaya, Bedanand, Wijethilake, Chaminda and Dhakal Adhikari, Shovita (2023) The sociomateriality of digitalisation in Nepalese NGOs. The British Accounting Review, 55 (5). p. 101206. ISSN 1095-8347


Drawing on the concept of sociomateriality, this paper investigates the digitalisation of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in developing countries during the COVID19 pandemic. NGOs represent one sector in which the consequences of digitalisation have been particularly striking. Nationwide lockdowns, travel restrictions and strict government guidelines led to NGOs embarking on a transition towards digitalisation for their continuity and survival. Adhering to a qualitative approach, data for the study have been derived through semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, focus group discussions with beneficiaries and a review of documentary sources. Outlining both the benefits and consequences of digitalisation, the findings of the study illustrate the way how the NGOs’ digitalisation has triggered changes in both their operations and modes of communication, altered their relationships with beneficiaries and other stakeholders, and transformed their identity. The key contribution made by the paper involves moving beyond the human-centred and techno-centric approaches to digitalisation, which dominate the existing accounting literature, and illustrating how the performance of technologies evolves in everyday life. In doing so, the paper delineates the role that the technology itself can play in shaping NGOs’ day-to-day practices in developing countries.

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