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Soc Sci Med. 1987;25(9):1039-48.

Bureaucratic aspects of international health agencies.

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Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


In this paper the large international health agencies are viewed as bureaucracies, i.e. in Max Weber's sense as rational administrative organizations. The kinds of activities in which they engage, and the effectiveness of their programs, are interpreted as a function of their structural and dynamic characteristics, and of the professional assumptions held by administrators, planners and technical specialists. International health agency activities are placed in the context of the 'donor-recipient' model that characterizes post-World War II international developmental assistance programs. Some of the strengths and weaknesses of these organizations are noted, and linked to the organizations' structural, dynamic and professional characteristics.

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