ROLE OF NGOS IN
Mansour Esmaeil Zaei (PhD Research
Department of Public Administration,
• Which is the biggest NGOs in the world?
• What is NGO boom?
India witnessing NGO boom, there is 1 for every 600
people - Times of India said.
DEFINITION – WORLD BANK
“The diversity of NGOs strains any simple definition. They
include many groups and institutions that are entirely or
largely independent of government and that have primarily
humanitarian or cooperative rather than commercial
objectives. They are private agencies in industrial countries
that support international development; indigenous groups
organized regionally or nationally; and member-groups in
villages. NGOs include charitable and religious associations
that mobilize private funds for development, distribute food
and family planning services and promote community
organization. They also include independent cooperatives,
community associations, water-user societies, women’s groups
and pastoral associations. Citizen groups that raise awareness
and influence policy are also NGOs”
• Impossible to give one unique answer, but NGOs have
• Engaging in suffering relief activities
• Promoting interest of the poor
• Protecting the environment
• Providing basic social services
• Advocating community development
CATEGORIES OF NGOS
• The term NGO is very broad and encompasses many
different types of organizations
• The main Categories of NGOs include;
• i) operational NGOs
• whose primary purpose is the design and implementation of
development-related projects (Centre for Development &
• ii) advocacy NGOs
• whose primary purpose is to defend or promote a specific cause
and who seek to influence the policies and practices of
countries (Amnesty International)
• iii) humanitarian NGOs
• whose primary purpose is to provide aid in disaster areas, and
alleviate suffering from poverty and disease (e.g. red cross)
TYPES OF NGOS
• By orientation
• Charitable orientation
• Service orientation
• Participatory orientation
• Empowering orientation
• By level of operation
• Community-based organizations (CBOs)
• City-wide organizations
• National NGOs
• International NGOs
TARGET OF NGOS
• Community health promotion and education (such as
hygiene and waste disposal).
• Managing emerging health crises (HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B).
• Community social problems (juvenile crimes, run-away,
street children, prostitution).
• Environmental (sustainable water and energy resources).
• Economic (micro loans, skills training, financial education
• Development (school and infrastructure construction).
• Women‟s issues (women‟s and children‟s rights, counseling,
IMPACT OF THE NGO SECTOR
• It is now estimated that over 15 percent of total overseas
development aid is channelled through NGOs (World Bank)
Total NGO numbers are hard to pin down for good reason;
• Current estimates put the number of NGOs around;
• 6,000 and 30,000 national NGOs in developing countries
• 29,000 approximate international NGOs
• Community based organizations across the developing and
developed world that number in the hundreds of thousands
(World Bank, Economist)
TRENDS IN THE NGO SECTOR
• Over the past several decades, NGOs have become
major players in the field of international development
• Since the mid-1970s, the NGO sector in both developed
and developing countries has experienced exponential
• According to the World Bank, from 1970 to 1985 total
development aid disbursed by international NGOs
• This trend peaked in 1992 with $7.6 billion dollars being
distributed by NGOs to developing countries
• Can go places and undertake missions in areas where governments can’t
• More cost efficient than governments
• Strong grassroots links: A more “human” face
• Field-based development expertise
• The ability to innovate and adapt
• Participatory methodologies and tools: More community involvement
• Long-term commitment and emphasis on sustainability
• Less pressure from change in politics
• Small scale projects
• Can be individually tailored to meet specific community needs
• Higher “success” rate
• Less bureaucratic
LIMITATIONS OF NGOS
• limited financial and management expertise
• limited institutional capacity
• low levels of self-sustainability
• isolation/lack of inter-organizational communication and/or
• small scale interventions
• lack of understanding of the broader social or economic
• Possible lack of legitimacy
• Difficult to regulate
• Can lack transparency and accountability
MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS (MDGS)
• To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
• To achieve universal primary education
• To promote gender equality and empower women
• To reduce child mortality
• To improve maternal health
• To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
• To ensure environmental sustainability
• To develop a global partnership for development
NGOS MAJOR PLAYERS IN THE FIELD OF
DEVELOPMENT IN DEVELOPMENT
• Promoting democracy
• Advocating for human rights
• Promoting sustainable socio-economic development
• Providing humanitarian relief
• Supporting educational and cultural renewal (Rice & Ritchie,
NGOS WORK CATEGORIES IN DEVELOPMENT
THE ROLE OF NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
• Providing goods and services
• Assisting the government achieve its development
• Helping citizens to voice their aspirations, concerns and
alternatives for consideration by policy makers
• helping to enhance the accountability and
transparency of government and local government
programs and of officials.
ROLE OF NGOS IN GLOBALIZING WORLD
Per Boutros-Ghali in 1995
“ Non-governmental organizations are a basic element in
the representation of the modern world. And their
participation in international organizations is in a way a
guarantee of the latter’s political legitimacy…From the
stand point of global democratization, we need the
participation of international public opinion and the
mobilizing powers of non-governmental organizations.”
CHECK THESE OUT!
Bansal, P. (2010). Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the Developmental
Process in Punjab (PhD Thesis). Panjab University.
Bava, N. (Ed.) (2008). Non-Governmental Organizations in Development. New Delhi: Kanishka
Heredia, R. C. (1998). Voluntary Action and Development: Towards a Praxis for Non-
Governmental Agencies. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company.
Hilhorst, D. (2003). The Real World of NGOs: Discourses, Diversity and Development. London:
Zed Books Ltd.
Kuriakose, P. T. (1989). In Quest of Development: Role of Non-Governmental Organizations.
New Delhi: Kalpana Printing House.
Lewis, D., & Kanji, K. (2009). Non-Governmental Organizations and Development. London:
Niranjan Pani, N., & Sahu, P. K. (2010). Non-Governmental Organizations: Development Actors.
New Delhi: Mahamaya Publishers
Abbey, E. M. (2008). Constructive Regulation of Non-government Organizations. The
Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 48, 370–376.
CHECK THESE OUT!
Streeten, P. (1997). Nongovernmental organizations and development. Annals of the
American Academy of Political and Social Science, 554, 193-210.
Pawar, S. N., Ambekar, J. B., & Shrikant, D. (Ed.) (2004). NGOs and Development: The Indian
Scenario. New Delhi: Rawat Publications.
Jacob, K. C. (2010). Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Economic and Community
Development of Kerala: A Case Study of Peermade Development Society (PhD Thesis).
Mahatma Gandhi University.
Aslam, H. D., & Rafi, A. (2011). NGO Management in Patten Development Organization.
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Role of Governments and Nongovernmental Organizations. Retrieved from
www.sagepub.com/.../52625_ch_9.pdf on 8th March 2015.
Definition of an NGO. Retrieved from www.undp.org/ppp/library/files/maslyu01.html on 8th
Union of International Associations. Retrieved from www.uia.org/uiafaqs/faqorg.htm#NGO
on 8th March 2015.