This literature review summarizes the knowledge in the field of the strategic management of international NGOs operating in developing countries based on the analysis of 161 books and articles published since 1980. The review yielded five major themes: 1) relationships with donors, 2) relationships with host governments, 3) NGO coordination, 4) NGO accountability and 5) measuring the strategic impact of NGOs in developing countries. The review reflects the growing complexity of the external environment for NGOs, and the challenges related to strategic management. In response, NGOs have developed closer relations with UN agencies, strategic partnerships with host governments, increasing inter-agency coordination and management, impact assessment and shared learning systems. The review concludes with an evolving research agenda for addressing key issues confronting the strategic management of NGOs.