In recent decades, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have become the flag barriers of political and social freedom, poverty alleviation, and empowerment of the poor and marginalized, as well as champions of democratization in the third world. There is an argument raised by scholars (Li, 2011, Bloodgood, 2014, Ruffner, 2015), experts, and practitioners that one of the most important elements that hinder NGOs from reaching their full potential is the legal framework regulating the operations of NGOs. This research analyzes the legal framework of selected countries from Africa, the Middle East, the United States of America as well as China, and highlights lessons learned and potential applications to the Egyptian context. 11 semi-structured interviews were conducted with selected active NGOs executives and practitioners to understand the impact of the legal framework on NGOs establishment and operations. The research findings revealed the strengths and weaknesses of law number 84 for the year 2002 and law of 2016 as perceived by NGOs. It also showed that the relation between government and NGOs not only affected the establishment of the legal framework and whether it is enabling or restricting, but also impacted the implementation of the law. It was evident that one of the major factors affecting the operations of NGOs was how the law was implemented, rather than the law articles. The eight investigated countries represent three continents, however there were commonalities between the governing laws concerning registration, funding and dissolution. Based on the outcome of the comparative study and interviews, the research presents a general review of the current status quo. This research can be used by other researchers as a starting point for a more in-depth study of the legal framework so as to better enable NGOs to play an active role in the development of Egypt.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Graduation Date


Submission Date

February 2018

First Advisor

Karini, Artan

Committee Member 1

Barsoum, Ghada

Committee Member 2

Abdelhalim, Khaled


104 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


Writing this thesis would not have been possible without the support and guidance of my supervisor, Dr. Artan Karini. Not only was he resourceful but immensely instructive, caring, and a great source of knowledge and wisdom. Despite the limited timeframe to complete this thesis, he agreed to be my supervisor and invested a lot of his time, even when he had every right to say no. In one of our meetings he told me “Nothing worthwhile comes without sacrifices”, and this statement kept me going when I was pressured and sometimes frustrated. So, to him I can only say thank you for being so patient with me; your generosity with your time has impacted my career. I have learnt a lot from you. I would also like to thank my readers, who agreed to dedicate time in spite of their busy schedules. A special thanks goes to Marwan El Sammak, Dalia Ibrahim and Samer Gharaibeh. They provided me with much needed support and they have been a source of inspiration.