Thesis subject

Balancing between trust and control

The aim of this study is to understand the role of trust in relation to control mechanisms between the Dutch NGO (and her partners) and the Zambian counterpart (and her partners).

Practical information

Starting date: In consultation
Preferred language: English
Location: Zambia, Mpongwe District and the Netherlands
Supervisor: Jasper de Vries (COM)


‘Geef de kinderen van Mpongwe een toekomst’ (GKMT) is a Dutch NGO with a Zambian counterpart named GCMF, which is the English abbreviation of the same name. Through its activities, GKMT and GCMF strive to contribute to poverty reduction, sustainable development and the creation of development opportunities in the Mpongwe district. After having founded the foundation in 2001 and then led the foundation 'Give the children of Mpongwe a future', (GCMF) for 20 years, it is important to look back and reflect on the results of the many different projects that the foundation has carried out in the Mpongwe district in Zambia.

The Dutch NGO and her partners in the Netherlands and the Zambian counterpart and her partners have worked together for 20 years. 20 years of balancing between trust and control in developing initiatives, planning actions and project collaboration. The aim of this study is therefore to understand how the balancing of trust and control has influenced the collaboration and achievements over the years.

Possible research questions:

  • How has trust and control mechanisms developed between the different actors in the Netherlands and Zambia from 2001 to 2022?
  • How has changes in trust and control mechanisms influenced collaboration between the partners.
  • Have the changes affected the achievement of the organization's goal?

These are first cut research questions and should be tailored to the specific focus
of the thesis (e.g. which type of activities is the core focus).

Type of research activities

The research entails a qualitative research approach and desk research. Interviews with stakeholders; focus group discussions or other data collection. The exact methods can be discussed during the first stages of the study.

Student profile

GCMF is looking for one or more students with an interest in sustainable development, poverty reduction and communication processes. Important skills are knowledge about qualitative research methods, interest/knowledge about sustainable development and poverty reduction. The student is willing to stay in a rural area. The students can stay in our own GCMF Guesthouse.