NGOs are a vital partner and contributor to economic and social development, and an impactful tool for community participation in providing initiatives that the state might not able to implement. It is therefore important to provide an enabling environment for NGOs to organize their operation without constructing limitations, as to reach the most impoverished and marginalized communities. Therefore, restrictive laws prevent NGOs from operating, and hinder the implementation of development programmes, whilst progressive laws promote the role of NGOs in programme delivery and support its application. This study aims to determine how legislation impacts the role of NGOs in programme delivery in Egypt. Building on existing work on NGO law no. 84 of 2002 and how it may have provided NGOs with an enabling environment to operate in Egypt at a time where the country was ruled by an authoritarian regime, I ask: is it probable that the legislative system could function in a way that supports NGO activities? Based on a review of the literature, the main hypothesis of the study is built on the thought that although a regime could be authoritarian, the legislative body could contribute to the promotion of the role of NGOs, given the following: the neoliberal agenda adopted by a country due to economic challenges that made NGO support inevitable, and the strengthening of security bodies that protect the regime. In this context to efficiently measure the progressiveness of the mentioned law, the following indicators were considered: the number of NGOs available before and after the ratification of the law, the scope and diversity in activities undergone with the law in place, the number of NGOs in geographic locations where NGOs have operated at the time, and finally the financial capabilities of NGOs following the ratification of the law. In favor of investigating and answering the research question along confirming the proposed hypothesis, I collected secondary data from past literary works such as articles, journals, and contributions to the topic. This was in addition to compiling primary data, which was generated through interviews and questionnaires. I interviewed four local NGOs and one foreign NGO to understand their opinions regarding the impact of legislation on the role of NGOs in programme delivery. I focused on large, medium, and small size NGOs implementing development activities, since they are the ones affecting millions of marginalized Egyptians in poor and challenging circumstances. To provide thorough analyses, I circulated a questionnaire among 54 NGO staff members with a response rate of 100 percent. This provided additional insights from NGO staff in addition to information gathered from NGO board members through interviews. The analysis of the collected data demonstrated that NGO law no. 84 of 2002 may have led to promoting the role of NGOs (although the law was ratified under an authoritarian regime), due to the neoliberal agenda adopted by the country because of economic challenges that made NGO support inevitable, and the strengthening of security bodies that protected the regime at the time. The research findings revealed that another factor may have promoted the role of NGOs during that time which was the flooding of foreign donations to the country aimed at NGO-implemented activities. This study can be used by other researchers as a starting point for a more in-depth research of other factors that may have led to the ratification of NGO law no. 84 of 2002 and enabled NGOs in Egypt to deliver development programmes. Additional ideas for future research may include Egypt’s newly proposed NGO law no. 70 of 2017 which could be further explored by researchers once its executive regulation is published.


Political Science Department

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2019

First Advisor

ElGindi, Tamer

Committee Member 1

Adly, Amr

Committee Member 2

Sika, Nadine



Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


This thesis is the product of persistence, patience, passion, love, and pain. Its completion would not have been possible without the support of my mother who gave me this journey and provided me with every opportunity I ever wanted to pursue my dreams. My husband, for his love, enthusiasm and determination to make me reach for the stars. My three angels, for looking up at me with those little eyes thinking I’m perfect, I’m strong and can conquer the world. My grandmother, who the thought of her lightens-up my days and her prayers to me keeps me strong. My sister, whose passion to help children and love to her dear ones constantly inspires me. My brother, whose generosity and kindness are impeccable – I’m proud of the young man he has grown up to become. To Dr. Tamer ElGindi, thank you for your guidance and support, and for being a steady and thoughtful advisor. Your patience and care helped me throughout my journey. To Dr. Amr Adly and Dr. Nadine Sika, thank you for taking the time to support my work and provide me with your constructive insights and critical feedback – it was a privilege. This thesis is the end of a long chapter of my life, of all the people in my world I dedicate this to you.