Non-governmental organization

Last updated

Pekka Haavisto, Minister for International Development of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland, at the first World NGO Day in Helsinki in 2014 Pekka Haavisto - World NGO Day, Finland.jpg
Pekka Haavisto, Minister for International Development of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland, at the first World NGO Day in Helsinki in 2014
Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at the launch of the "Europe in a suitcase" project by two NGOs (the EGI and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation), which aims to increase cooperation between European politicians, journalists and representatives of the civic sector and academia with their counterparts in Georgia. Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg
Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at the launch of the "Europe in a suitcase" project by two NGOs (the EGI and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation), which aims to increase cooperation between European politicians, journalists and representatives of the civic sector and academia with their counterparts in Georgia.

A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an organization that generally is formed independent from government. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] They are typically nonprofit entities, and many of them are active in humanitarianism or the social sciences; they can also include clubs and associations that provide services to their members and others. Surveys indicate that NGOs have a high degree of public trust, which can make them a useful proxy for the concerns of society and stakeholders. [7] However, NGOs can also be lobby groups for corporations, such as the World Economic Forum. [8] [9] [10] [11]


The term as it is used today was first introduced in Article 71 of the newly-formed United Nation's Charter in 1945. [12] While there is no fixed or formal definition for what NGOs are, they are generally defined as nonprofit entities that are independent of governmental influence—although they may receive government funding. [12] According to the UN Department of Global Communications, an NGO is "a not-for profit, voluntary citizen’s group that is organized on a local, national or international level to address issues in support of the public good." [5] The term NGO is used inconsistently, and is sometimes used synonymously with civil society organization (CSO), which is any association founded by citizens. [13] In some countries, NGOs are known as nonprofit organizations, and political parties and trade unions are sometimes considered NGOs as well. [14]

NGOs are classified by (1) orientation—the type of activities an NGO undertakes, such as activities involving human rights, consumer protection, environmentalism, health, or development; and (2) level of operation, which indicates the scale at which an organization works: local, regional, national, or international. [14]

Russia had about 277,000 NGOs in 2008. [15] India is estimated to have had about 2 million NGOs in 2009 (approximately one per 600 Indians), many more than the number of the country's primary schools and health centers. [16] [17]


NGOs further the social goals of their members (or founders): improving the natural environment, encouraging the observance of human rights, improving the welfare of the disadvantaged, or representing a corporate agenda. Their goals cover a wide range of issues. They may fund local NGOs, institutions and projects, and implement projects. [18]

NGOs are classified by their: [14]

  1. orientation, i.e. the type of activities an NGO undertakes, such as activities involving human rights, consumer protection, environmentalism, health, or development.
  2. level of operation, which indicates the scale at which an organization works: local, regional, national, or international.


Level of operation

Other terms/acronyms

Similar terms include third-sector organization (TSO), nonprofit organization (NPO), voluntary organization (VO), civil society organization (CSO), grassroots organization (GO), social movement organization (SMO), private voluntary organization (PVO), self-help organization (SHO), and non-state actors (NSAs).

Numerous variations exist for the NGO acronym, either due to language, region, or specificity. [20]

Some Romance languages use the synonymous abbreviation ONG; for example:

Other acronyms that are typically used to describe non-governmental organizations include:[ citation needed ]


NGOs act as implementers, catalysts, and partners. They mobilize resources to provide goods and services to people who have been affected by a natural disaster; they drive change, and partner with other organizations to tackle problems and address human needs. [23]

NGOs vary by method; some are primarily advocacy groups, and others conduct programs and activities. Oxfam, concerned with poverty alleviation, may provide needy people with the equipment and skills to obtain food and drinking water; the Forum for Fact-finding Documentation and Advocacy (FFDA) helps provide legal assistance to victims of human-rights abuses. The Afghanistan Information Management Services provide specialized technical products and services to support development activities implemented on the ground by other organizations. Management techniques are crucial to project success. [24]

The World Bank classifies NGO activity into two general categories: [5] [25] [20]

  1. operational NGOs, whose primary function is the design and implementation of development-related projects
  2. advocacy NGOs, whose primary function is to defend or promote a particular cause and who seek to influence the policies and practices of International governmental organisations (IGOs).

NGOs may also conduct both activities: operational NGOs will use campaigning techniques if they face issues in the field, which could be remedied by policy change, and campaigning NGOs (such as human-rights organizations) often have programs which assist individual victims for whom they are trying to advocate. [19] [20]


Operational NGOs seek to "achieve small-scale change directly through projects", [19] mobilizing financial resources, materials, and volunteers to create local programs. They hold large-scale fundraising events and may apply to governments and organizations for grants or contracts to raise money for projects. Operational NGOs often have a hierarchical structure; their headquarters are staffed by professionals who plan projects, create budgets, keep accounts, and report to and communicate with operational fieldworkers on projects. [19] They are most often associated with the delivery of services or environmental issues, emergency relief, and public welfare. Operational NGOs may be subdivided into relief or development organizations, service-delivery or participatory, religious or secular, and public or private. Although operational NGOs may be community-based, many are national or international. The defining activity of an operational NGO is the implementation of projects. [19]


Advocacy NGOs or campaigning NGOs seek to "achieve large-scale change promoted indirectly through the influence of the political system." [19] They require an active, efficient group of professional members who can keep supporters informed and motivated. Campaigning NGOs must plan and host demonstrations and events which will attract media, their defining activity. [19]

Campaigning NGOs often deal with issues related to human rights, women's rights, and children's rights, and their primary purpose is to defend (or promote) a specific cause. [19]

Public relations

Non-governmental organisations need healthy public relations in order to meet their goals, and use sophisticated public-relations campaigns to raise funds and deal with governments. Interest groups may be politically important, influencing social and political outcomes. A code of ethics was established in 2002 by the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations. [26]



Some NGOs rely on paid staff; others are based on volunteers. Although many NGOs use international staff in developing countries, others rely on local employees or volunteers. Foreign staff may satisfy a donor who wants to see the supported project managed by a person from an industrialized country. The expertise of these employees (or volunteers) may be counterbalanced by several factors: the cost of foreigners is typically higher, they have no grassroots connections in the country, and local expertise may be undervalued. [25] By the end of 1995, Concern Worldwide (an international anti-poverty NGO) employed 174 foreigners and just over 5,000 local staff in Haiti and ten developing countries in Africa and Asia.

On average, employees in NGOs earn 11-12% less compared to employees of for-profit organizations and government workers with the same number of qualifications . [27] However, in many cases NGOs employees receive more fringe benefits. [28]


NGOs are usually funded by donations, but some avoid formal funding and are run by volunteers. NGOs may have charitable status, or may be tax-exempt in recognition of their social purposes. Others may be fronts for political, religious, or other interests. Since the end of World War II, NGOs have had an increased role in international development, [29] particularly in the fields of humanitarian assistance and poverty alleviation. [30]

Funding sources include membership dues, the sale of goods and services, grants from international institutions or national governments, and private donations. Although the term "non-governmental organization" implies independence from governments, many NGOs depend on government funding; [31] one-fourth of Oxfam's US$162 million 1998 income was donated by the British government and the EU, and World Vision United States collected $55 million worth of goods in 1998 from the American government. Several EU grants provide funds accessible to NGOs.

Government funding of NGOs is controversial, since "the whole point of humanitarian intervention was precise that NGOs and civil society had both a right and an obligation to respond with acts of aid and solidarity to people in need or being subjected to repression or want by the forces that controlled them, whatever the governments concerned might think about the matter." [32] Some NGOs, such as Greenpeace, do not accept funding from governments or intergovernmental organizations. [33] [34] The 1999 budget of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) was over $540 million. [35]


Overhead is the amount of money spent on running an NGO, rather than on projects. [36] It includes office expenses, [36] salaries, and banking and bookkeeping costs. An NGO's percentage of its overall budget spent on overhead is often used to judge it; less than four percent is considered good. [36] According to the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, more than 86 percent should be spent on programs (less than 20 percent on overhead). [37] The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has guidelines of five to seven percent overhead to receive funding; [38] the World Bank typically allows 37 percent. [39] A high percentage of overhead relative to total expenditures can make it more difficult to generate funds. [40] High overhead costs may generate public criticism. [41]

A sole focus on overhead, however, can be counterproductive. [42] Research published by the Urban Institute and Stanford University's Center for Social Innovation have shown that rating agencies create incentives for NGOs to lower (and hide) overhead costs, which may reduce organizational effectiveness by starving organizations of infrastructure to deliver services. [43] [44] An alternative rating system would provide, in addition to financial data, a qualitative evaluation of an organization’s transparency and governance:

  1. An assessment of program effectiveness
  2. Evaluation of feedback mechanisms for donors and beneficiaries
  3. Allowing a rated organization to respond to an evaluation by a rating agency [45]

Monitoring and control

In a March 2000 report on United Nations reform priorities, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan favored international humanitarian intervention as the responsibility to protect [46] citizens from ethnic cleansing, genocide, and crimes against humanity. After that report, the Canadian government launched its Responsibility to Protect (R2P) [47] project outlining the issue of humanitarian intervention. The R2P project has wide applications, and among its more controversial has been the Canadian government's use of R2P to justify its intervention in the coup in Haiti. [48]

Large corporations have increased their corporate social responsibility departments to preempt NGO campaigns against corporate practices. Collaboration between corporations and NGOs risks co-option of the weaker partner, typically the NGO. [49]

In December 2007, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs S. Ward Casscells established an International Health Division of Force Health Protection & Readiness. [50] Part of International Health's mission is to communicate with NGOs about areas of mutual interest. Department of Defense Directive 3000.05, [51] in 2005, required the US Defense Department to regard stability-enhancing activities as equally important as combat. In compliance with international law, the department has developed a capacity to improve essential services in areas of conflict (such as Iraq) where customary lead agencies like the State Department and USAID have difficulty operating. International Health cultivates collaborative, arm's-length relationships with NGOs, recognizing their independence, expertise, and honest-broker status.[ citation needed ]


International non-governmental organizations date back to at least the late 18th century, [52] [53] and there were an estimated 1,083 NGOs by 1914. [54] International NGOs were important to the anti-slavery and women's suffrage movements, and peaked at the time of the 1932–1934 World Disarmament Conference. [55]

The term became popular with the 1945 founding of the United Nations in 1945; [56] Article 71 in Chapter X of its charter [57] stipulated consultative status for organizations which are neither governments nor member states. [58] An international NGO was first defined in resolution 288 (X) of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on February 27, 1950, as "any international organization that is not founded by an international treaty". The role of NGOs and other "major groups" in sustainable development was recognized in Chapter 27 [59] of Agenda 21. [60] The rise and fall of international NGOs matches contemporary events, waxing in periods of growth and waning in times of crisis. [61] The United Nations gave non-governmental organizations observer status at its assemblies and some meetings. According to the UN, an NGO is a private, not-for-profit organization which is independent of government control and is not merely an opposition political party. [62]

The rapid development of the non-governmental sector occurred in Western countries as a result of the restructuring of the welfare state. Globalization of that process occurred after the fall of the communist system, and was an important part of the Washington Consensus. [31]

Twentieth-century globalization increased the importance of NGOs. International treaties and organizations, such as the World Trade Organization, focused on capitalist interests. To counterbalance this trend, NGOs emphasize humanitarian issues, development aid, and sustainable development. An example is the World Social Forum, a rival convention of the World Economic Forum held each January in Davos, Switzerland. The fifth World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, Brazil in January 2005, was attended by representatives of over 1,000 NGOs. [63] The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, attended by about 2,400 representatives, was the first to demonstrate the power of international NGOs in environmental issues and sustainable development. Transnational NGO networking has become extensive. [64]

Although NGOs are subject to national laws and practices, four main groups may be found worldwide: [65]

The Council of Europe drafted the European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations in Strasbourg in 1986, creating a common legal basis for European NGOs. Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights protects the right to associate, which is fundamental for NGOs.

Economic theory

The question whether a public project should be owned by an NGO or by the government has been studied in economics using the tools of the incomplete contracting theory. According to this theory, not every detail of a relationship between decision makers can be contractually specified. Hence, in the future the parties will bargain with each other to adapt their relationship to changing circumstances. Ownership matters because it determines the parties’ willingness to make non-contractible investments. In the context of private firms, Hart (1995) has shown that the party with the more important investment task should be owner. [66] Yet, Besley and Ghatak (2001) have argued that in the context of public projects the investment technology does not matter. [67] Specifically, even when the government is the key investor, ownership by an NGO is optimal if and only if the NGO has a larger valuation of the project than the government. However, the general validity of this argument has been questioned by follow-up research. In particular, ownership by the party with the larger valuation need not be optimal when the public good is partially excludable (Francesconi and Muthoo, 2011), [68] when both NGO and government may be indispensable (Halonen-Akatwijuka, 2012), [69] or when the NGO and the government have different bargaining powers (Schmitz, 2013). [70] Moreover, the investment technology can matter for the optimal ownership structure when there are bargaining frictions (Schmitz, 2015), [71] when the parties interact repeatedly (Halonen-Akatwijuka and Pafilis, 2020), [72] or when the parties are asymmetrically informed (Schmitz, 2021). [73]

Influence on world affairs

World NGO Day 2014 in Afghanistan World NGO Day Afghanistan.jpg
World NGO Day 2014 in Afghanistan

Today we celebrate the World NGO Day, we celebrate the key civil society's contribution to public space and their unique ability to give voice to those who would have went [sic] otherwise unheard.

European Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini, commemorating the 2017 World NGO Day in Brussels [74]

Service-delivery NGOs provide public goods and services which governments of developing countries are unable to provide due to a lack of resources. They may be contractors or collaborate with government agencies to reduce the cost of public goods. Capacity-building NGOs affect "culture, structure, projects and daily operations". [75] Advocacy and public-education NGOs aim to modify behavior and ideas through communication, crafting messages to promote social, political, or environmental changes (and as news organisations have cut foreign bureaux, many NGOs have begun to expand into news reporting). [76] Movement NGOs mobilize the public and coordinate large-scale collective activities to advance an activist agenda. [77]

Since the end of the Cold War, more NGOs in developed countries have pursued international outreach; involved in local and national social resistance, they have influenced domestic policy change in the developing world. [78] Specialized NGOs have forged partnerships, built networks, and found policy niches. [79]

Track II diplomacy

Track II diplomacy (or dialogue) is transnational coordination by non-official members of the government, including epistemic communities and former policymakers or analysts. It aims to help policymakers and policy analysts reach a common solution through unofficial discussions. Unlike official diplomacy, conducted by government officials, diplomats, and elected leaders, Track II diplomacy involves experts, scientists, professors and other figures who are not part of government affairs.

World NGO Day

World NGO Day, observed annually on 27 February, was recognised on 17 April 2010 by 12 countries of the IX Baltic Sea NGO Forum at the eighth Summit of the Baltic Sea States in Vilnius, Lithuania. [80] It was internationally recognised on 28 February 2014 in Helsinki, Finland by United Nations Development Programme administrator and former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark. [81] [82] [83]


Tanzanian author and academic Issa G. Shivji has criticised NGOs in two essays: "Silences in NGO discourse: The role and future of NGOs in Africa" and "Reflections on NGOs in Tanzania: What we are, what we are not and what we ought to be". Shivji writes that despite the good intentions of NGO leaders and activists, he is critical of the "objective effects of actions, regardless of their intentions". [84] According to Shivji, the rise of NGOs is part of a neoliberal paradigm and not motivated purely by altruism; NGOs want to change the world without understanding it, continuing an imperial relationship.

In his study of NGO involvement in Mozambique, James Pfeiffer addresses their negative effects on the country's health. According to Pfeiffer, NGOs in Mozambique have "fragmented the local health system, undermined local control of health programs, and contributed to growing local social inequality". [85] They can be uncoordinated, creating parallel projects which divert health-service workers from their normal duties to instead serve the NGOs. This undermines local primary-healthcare efforts, and removes the government's ability to maintain agency over its health sector. [85] Pfeiffer suggested a collaborative model of the NGO and the DPS (the Mozambique Provincial Health Directorate); the NGO should be "formally held to standard and adherence within the host country", reduce "showcase" projects and unsustainable parallel programs. [85]

In her 1997 Foreign Affairs article, Jessica Mathews wrote: "For all their strengths, NGOs are special interests. The best of them ... often suffer from tunnel vision, judging every public act by how it affects their particular interest". [86] NGOs are unencumbered by policy trade-offs. [87]

According to Vijay Prashad, since the 1970s "the World Bank, under Robert McNamara, championed the NGO as an alternative to the state, leaving intact global and regional relations of power and production." [88] NGOs have been accused of preserving imperialism [89] (sometimes operating in a racialized manner in Third World countries), with a function similar to that of the clergy during the colonial era. Political philosopher Peter Hallward has called them an aristocratic form of politics, [90] noting that ActionAid and Christian Aid "effectively condoned the [2004 US-backed] coup" against an elected government in Haiti and are the "humanitarian face of imperialism". [91] Movements in the Global South (such as South Africa's Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign) have refused to work with NGOs, concerned that doing so would compromise their autonomy. [92] [93] NGOs have been accused of weakening people by allowing their funders to prioritize stability over social justice. [94]

They have been accused of being designed by, and used as extensions of, the foreign-policy instruments of some Western countries and groups of countries. [95] [96] Russian president Vladimir Putin made that accusation at the 43rd Munich Security Conference in 2007, saying that NGOs "are formally independent but they are purposefully financed and therefore under control". [97] According to Michael Bond, "Most large NGOs, such as Oxfam, the Red Cross, Cafod and ActionAid, are striving to make their aid provision more sustainable. But some, mostly in the US, are still exporting the ideologies of their backers." [98]

NGOs have been accused of using misinformation in their campaigns out of self-interest. According to Doug Parr of Greenpeace, there had been "a tendency among our critics to say that science is the only decision-making tool ... but political and commercial interests are using science as a cover for getting their way." [99] Former policy-maker for the German branch of Friends of the Earth Jens Katjek said, "If NGOs want the best for the environment, they have to learn to compromise." [99]

They have been questioned as "too much of a good thing". [100] Eric Werker and Faisal Ahmed made three critiques of NGOs in developing nations. Too many NGOs in a nation (particularly one ruled by a warlord) reduces an NGO's influence, since it can easily be replaced by another NGO. Resource allocation and outsourcing to local organizations in international-development projects incurs expenses for an NGO, lessening the resources and money available to the intended beneficiaries. NGO missions tend to be paternalistic, as well as expensive. [100]

Legitimacy, an important asset of an NGO, is its perception as an "independent voice". [101] [102] Neera Chandhoke wrote in a Journal of World-Systems Research article, "To put the point starkly: are the citizens of countries of the South and their needs represented in global civil society, or are citizens as well as their needs constructed by practices of representation? And when we realize that INGOs hardly ever come face to face with the people whose interests and problems they represent, or that they are not accountable to the people they represent, matters become even more troublesome." [103]

An NGO's funding affects its legitimacy, and they have become increasingly dependent on a limited number of donors. [104] Competition for funds has increased, in addition to the expectations of donors who may add conditions threatening an NGO's independence. [105] Dependence on official aid may dilute "the willingness of NGOs to speak out on issues which are unpopular with governments", [102] and changes in NGO funding sources have altered their function. [102]

NGOs have been challenged as not representing the needs of the developing world, diminishing the "Southern voice" and preserving the North–South divide. [106] The equality of relationships between northern and southern parts of an NGO, and between southern and northern NGOs working in partnership, has been questioned; the north may lead in advocacy and resource mobilization, and the south delivers services in the developing world. [106] The needs of the developing world may not be addressed appropriately, as northern NGOs do not consult (or participate in) partnerships or assign unrepresentative priorities. [107] NGOs have been accused of damaging the public sector in target countries, such as mismanagement resulting in the breakdown of public healthcare systems. [85]

The scale and variety of activities in which NGOs participate have grown rapidly since 1980, and particularly since 1990. [108] NGOs need to balance centralization and decentralization. Centralizing NGOs, particularly at the international level, can assign a common theme or set of goals. It may also be advantageous to decentralize an NGO, increasing its chances of responding flexibly and effectively to local issues by implementing projects which are modest in scale, easily monitored, produce immediate benefits, and where all involved know that corruption would be punished. [109]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">International development</span> Concept concerning the level of development on an international scale

International development or global development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing levels of economic or human development on an international scale. It is the basis for international classifications such as developed country, developing country and least developed country, and for a field of practice and research that in various ways engages with international development processes. There are, however, many schools of thought and conventions regarding which are the exact features constituting the "development" of a country.

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is a treaty adopted by the 56th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland on 21 May 2003. It became the first World Health Organization treaty adopted under article 19 of the WHO constitution. The treaty came into force on 27 February 2005. It had been signed by 168 countries and is legally binding in 181 ratifying countries. There are currently 15 United Nations member states that are non-parties to the treaty.

The United Nations defines community development as "a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems." It is a broad concept, applied to the practices of civic leaders, activists, involved citizens, and professionals to improve various aspects of communities, typically aiming to build stronger and more resilient local communities.

A non-state actor (NSA) are organizations and/or individuals that are not affiliated with, directed by, or funded by any government.

A government-organized non-governmental organization (GONGO) is a non-governmental organization that was set up or sponsored by a government in order to further its political interests and mimic the civic groups and civil society at home, or promote its international or geopolitical interests abroad.

An international non-governmental organization (INGO) is an organization which is independent of government involvement and extends the concept of a non-governmental organization (NGO) to an international scope.

Rural development is the process of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in rural areas, often relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Health policy</span> Policy area that deals with the health system of a country or other organization

Health policy can be defined as the "decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific healthcare goals within a society". According to the World Health Organization, an explicit health policy can achieve several things: it defines a vision for the future; it outlines priorities and the expected roles of different groups; and it builds consensus and informs people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs</span> Government organization in New York, United States

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is part of the United Nations Secretariat and is responsible for the follow-up to major United Nations Summits and Conferences, as well as services to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Second and Third Committees of the United Nations General Assembly. UN DESA assists countries around the world in agenda-setting and decision-making with the goal of meeting their economic, social and environmental challenges. It supports international cooperation to promote sustainable development for all, having as a foundation the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015. In providing a broad range of analytical products, policy advice, and technical assistance, UN DESA effectively translates global commitments in the economic, social and environmental spheres into national policies and actions and continues to play a key role in monitoring progress towards internationally agreed-upon development goals. It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">International organization</span> Organization established by treaty between governments

An international organization is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the behavior of states and other actors in the international system. Organizations may be established by a treaty or be an instrument governed by international law and possessing its own legal personality, such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization and NATO. International organizations are composed of primarily member states, but may also include other entities, such as other international organizations. Additionally, entities may hold observer status.

Aseem Prakash is a professor of Political Science, the Walker Family Professor of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Founding Director of the UW Center for Environmental Politics. He serves as the General Editor of the Cambridge University Press Series on Business and Public Policy and the Associate Editor of Business & Society. In addition to serving on editorial boards of several additional journals, he has been elected as the Vice-President of the International Studies Association (2015-2016). Professor Prakash is a member of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Board on Environmental Change and Society and International Research Fellow at the Center for Corporate Reputation, University of Oxford. He was elected to the position of the Vice President of the International Studies Association for the period, 2015-2016. He is the recipient of International Studies Association, International Political Economy Section's 2019 Distinguished Scholar Award that recognizes "outstanding senior scholars whose influence and path-breaking intellectual work will continue to impact the field for years to come as well as the Associations' 2018 James N. Rosenau Award for "scholar who has made the most important contributions to globalization studies". The European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Regulatory Governance awarded him the 2018 Regulatory Studies Development Award that recognizes a senior scholar who has made notable "contributions to the field of regulatory governance."

Rights-based approach to development is an approach to development promoted by many development agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to achieve a positive transformation of power relations among the various development actors. This practice blurs the distinction between human rights and economic development. There are two stakeholder groups in rights-based development—the rights holders and the duty bearers. Rights-based approaches aim at strengthening the capacity of duty bearers and empower the rights holders.

NGO-ization refers to the professionalization, bureaucratization, and institutionalization of social movements as they adopt the form of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). It led to NGOs' depoliticizing discourses and practices of social movements. The term has been introduced in the context of West European women's movements, but since the late 1990s has been employed to assess the role of organized civil society on a global scale. It is also used by Indian writer Arundhati Roy, who speaks about the NGO-ization of resistance, and more generally, about the NGO-ization of politics. Across the world, the number of internationally operating NGOs is around 40,000. The number of national NGOs in countries is higher, with around 1-2 million NGOs in India and 277,000 NGOs in Russia.

The UNESCO stated “education for sustainable development is a broad task that calls for the full involvement of multiple educational organizations and groups in bureaucracies and civil societies. These include Non-Governmental Organizations or NGOs.

Accountable Now is a global platform, founded in 2008 by a group of independent non-profit organisations, which is intended to foster accountability and transparency of civil society organisations (CSOs), as well as stakeholder communication and performance. It supports CSOs to be transparent, responsive to stakeholders and focused on delivering impact.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights or SRHR is the concept of human rights applied to sexuality and reproduction. It is a combination of four fields that in some contexts are more or less distinct from each other, but less so or not at all in other contexts. These four fields are sexual health, sexual rights, reproductive health and reproductive rights. In the concept of SRHR, these four fields are treated as separate but inherently intertwined.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Armenia and the United Nations</span> Armenia at the United Nations

Armenia was admitted into the United Nations on 2 March 1992, following its independence from the Soviet Union. In December 1992, the UN opened its first office in Yerevan. Since then, Armenia has signed and ratified several international treaties. There are 20 specialized agencies, programs, and funds operating in the country under the supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator. Armenia strengthened its relations with the UN by cooperating with various UN agencies and bodies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Food Programme, and with the financial institutions of the UN. Armenia is a candidate to preside as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2031.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Non-governmental organisations in Georgia</span>

Non-governmental organizations in Georgia, nongovernmental organizations, or nongovernment organizations in Georgia, commonly referred to as NGOs in Georgia, are usually non-profit and sometimes international organizations independent of governments and international governmental organizations that are active in humanitarian, educational, health care, public policy, social, human rights, environmental, and other areas to effect changes according to their objectives and operate in Georgia.

Foreign funding of NGOs is a controversial issue in some countries. In the late Cold War and afterward, foreign aid tended to be increasingly directed through NGOs, leading to an explosion of NGOs in the Global South reliant on international funding. Some critics of foreign funding of NGOs contend that foreign funding orients recipients toward donor priorities, making them less responsive to the communities they work in.

In this article, NGOs in West Africa will be divided into three categories: African national NGOs, African international NGOs, and non-African international NGOs. NGOs stand for non-governmental organizations. These organizations are mostly non-profit and mostly work independently from the government, they have specific aims that range from human rights, finance, health, education and more. There are many non-governmental organizations in West Africa, and much activity between these countries, organizations and the rest of the world.


  1. Rapporteur 1, E. G. I. (29 October 2019). "Europe in a suitcase: Oliver Wardrop Discussions". Europe-Georgia Institute. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  2. Church, Jim (26 August 2021). "Library Guides: Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs): Introduction". Archived from the original on 26 August 2021. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  3. "NGO", Macmillan Dictionary
  4. Claiborne, N (2004). "Presence of social workers in nongovernment organizations". Soc Work. 49 (2): 207–218. doi:10.1093/sw/49.2.207. PMID   15124961.
  5. 1 2 3 Leverty, Sally (2008). "NGOs, the UN and APA". American Psychological Association. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  6. Horowitz, Jason (11 August 2017). "Ship Monitoring Rescues of Migrants Refuses to Be Rescued". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  7. "The rise and role of NGOs in sustainable development". Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  8. "Nongovernmental Organization (NGO)". United States Institute of Peace.
  9. Karns, Margaret P. "Nongovernmental organization". Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  10. "NGO – meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary".
  11. "NGO". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020.
  12. 1 2 "What is an NGO? What role does it play in civil society? | Knowledge base". Candid Learning. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  13. "Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the United States" (fact sheet). 20 January 2017. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  14. 1 2 3 Vakil, Anna (December 1997). "Confronting the classification problem: Toward a taxonomy of NGOs". World Development. 25 (12): 2057–2070. doi:10.1016/S0305-750X(97)00098-3.
  15. "Hobbled NGOs wary of Medvedev". Chicago Tribune. 7 May 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  16. "India: More NGOs, than schools and health centres". 7 July 2010. Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  17. "First official estimate: An NGO for every 400 people in India". The Indian Express. 7 July 2010.
  18. 1 2 3 Lawry, Lynn (2009). Guide to Nongovernmental Organizations for the Military (PDF). pp. 29–30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 July 2013.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Willetts, Peter. "What is a Non-Governmental Organization?". UNESCO Encyclopaedia of Life Support Systems. City University London. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Folger, Jean (18 January 2021). "What is an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization)?". Investopedia. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  21. Lewis, David; Kanji, Nazneen (2009). Non-governmental organizations and development. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. pp. 9–10. ISBN   978-0-203-87707-4.
  22. "Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)". 25 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  23. Lewis, David; Kanji, Nazneen (2009). Non-Governmental Organizations and Development. Oxon: Routledge. pp. 12–13. ISBN   978-0415454308.
  24. 100 Archived 11 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine , Mukasa, Sarah. Are expatriate staff necessary in international development NGOs? A case study of an international NGO in Uganda. Publication of the Centre for Civil Society at the London School of Economics. 2002, p. 11-13.
  25. 1 2 World Bank Criteria defining NGO Archived 21 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  26. "World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations – Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs". Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  27. Preston, Anne E.; Sacks, Daniel W. (2010). "Nonprofit Wages: Theory and Evidence". Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management. doi:10.4337/9781849803526.00017. ISBN   9781849803526.
  28. Ben-Ner, Avner; Ren, Ting; Paulson, Darla Flint (13 April 2010). "A Sectoral Comparison of Wage Levels and Wage Inequality in Human Services Industries". Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 40 (4): 608–633. doi:10.1177/0899764010365012. ISSN   0899-7640. S2CID   1222873.
  29. Werker, Eric; Ahmed, Faisal Z. (2008). "What Do Nongovernmental Organizations Do?". Journal of Economic Perspectives. 22 (2): 74–75. doi:10.1257/jep.22.2.73.
  30. Werker, Eric; Ahmed, Faisal Z. (2008). "What Do Nongovernmental Organizations Do?". Journal of Economic Perspectives. 22 (2): 74. doi:10.1257/jep.22.2.73.
  31. 1 2 Pawel Zaleski Global Non-governmental Administrative System: Geosociology of the Third Sector, [in:] Gawin, Dariusz & Glinski, Piotr [ed.]: "Civil Society in the Making", IFiS Publishers, Warsaw (2006)
  32. David Rieff (10 June 2010). "NG-Uh-O – The trouble with humanitarianism". The New Republic.
  33. Sarah Jane Gilbert (8 September 2008). "Harvard Business School, HBS Cases: The Value of Environmental Activists". Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  34. "Greenpeace Annual Report 2008" (PDF). 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 December 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  35. "Poll shows power of AIPAC drops slightly". Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. 19 December 1999. Retrieved 25 June 2007.
  36. 1 2 3 "Defining certain terms in a budget". Funds for NGOs. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  37. "Code of Ethics & Conduct for NGOs" (PDF). Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  38. "National NGOs Serving as PRs Excluded from the Global Fund's Policy on Percentage-Based Overhead Costs". 2012.
  39. Gibbs, Christopher; Fumo, Claudia; Kuby, Thomas (1999). Nongovernmental organizations in World Bank supported projects : a review (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: World Bank. p. 21. ISBN   978-0-8213-4456-9.
  40. Aras, Güler; Crowther, David, eds. (2010). NGOs and social responsibility (1st ed.). Bingley, UK: Emerald. p. 121. ISBN   978-0-85724-295-2.
  41. Kassahun, Samson (2004). Social capital for synergistic partnership : development of poor localities in urban Ethiopia (1. Aufl. ed.). Göttingen: Cuvillier. p. 153. ISBN   978-3-86537-222-2.
  42. Schmitz, Hans Peter and George E. Mitchell 2010. Navigating Effectiveness, Humanitarian&Development NGOs Domain Blog, The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University (9 March)
  43. "The Pros and Cons of Financial Efficiency Standards". 4 June 2016.
  44. "The Ratings Game (SSIR)".
  45. Lowell, Stephanie, Brian Trelstad, and Bill Meehan. 2005. The Ratings Game. Evaluating the three groups that rate the Charities. Stanford Social Innovation Review: 39–45.
  46. "Background Information on the Responsibility to Protect — Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations". Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  47. "International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP)". Archived from the original on 13 May 2020. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  48. Engler, Fenton; Yves, Anthony (2005). Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority. Vancouver, Winnipeg: RED Publishing. p. 120. ISBN   978-1-55266-168-0. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  49. Baur, Dorothea; Schmitz, Hans Peter (2012). "Corporations and NGOs: When Accountability Leads to Co-optation" (PDF). Journal of Business Ethics. 106 (1): 9–21. doi:10.1007/s10551-011-1057-9. S2CID   154450479.
  50. "Force Health Protection & Readiness - December 08, 2006". Archived from the original on 8 December 2006. Retrieved 1 March 2008.
  51. "Department of Defense Directive 3000.05" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 16 September 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2010. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  52. Davies, Thomas (2014). NGOs: A New History of Transnational Civil Society. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 23. ISBN   978-0-19-938753-3.
  53. Steve Charnovitz, "Two Centuries of Participation: NGOs and International Governance, Michigan Journal of International Law, Winter 1997.
  54. Oliver P. Richmond; Henry F. Carey, eds. (2005). Subcontracting Peace – The Challenges of NGO Peacebuilding. Ashgate. p. 21.
  55. Davies, Thomas Richard (2007). The Possibilities of Transnational Activism: the Campaign for Disarmament between the Two World Wars. ISBN   978-90-04-16258-7.[ page needed ]
  56. Davies, Thomas (2014). NGOs: A New History of Transnational Civil Society. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN   978-0-19-938753-3.
  57. Charter of the United Nations: Chapter X Archived March 22, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  58. Götz, Norbert (1 June 2008). "Reframing NGOs: The Identity of an International Relations Non-Starter". European Journal of International Relations. 14 (2): 231–258. doi:10.1177/1354066108089242. ISSN   1354-0661. S2CID   145277588.
  59. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. "Agenda 21 – Chapter 27: Strengthening the Role of Non-governmental Organizations: Partners for Sustainable Development, Earth Summit, 1992". Archived from the original on 17 February 2003. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  60. "1996/31. Consultative relationship between the United Nations and non-governmental organizations". Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  61. Boli, J. and Thomas, G. M. (1997) World Culture in the World Polity: A century of International Non-Governmental Organization. American Sociological Review. pp. 177
  62. "United Nations: Definitions and Terms" (PDF).
  63. Bartlett, Lauren (2005). "NGO Update". Human Rights Brief. 12 (3): 44–45.
  64. Stone, Diane (2004). "Transfer Agents and Global Networks in the 'Transnationalisation' of Policy" (PDF). Journal of European Public Policy.austiniskewl. 11 (3): 545–566. doi:10.1080/13501760410001694291. S2CID   153837868.
  65. Stillman, Grant B. (2007). Global Standard NGOs: The Essential Elements of Good Practice. Geneva: Lulu: Grant B. Stillman. pp. 13–14.
  66. Hart, Oliver D. (1995). Firms, contracts, and financial structure. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN   0-19-828881-6. OCLC   32703648.
  67. Besley, Timothy; Ghatak, Maitreesh (2001). "Government Versus Private Ownership of Public Goods". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 116 (4): 1343–1372. doi:10.1162/003355301753265598. ISSN   0033-5533. S2CID   39187118.
  68. Francesconi, Marco; Muthoo, Abhinay (2011). "Control Rights in Complex Partnerships". Journal of the European Economic Association. 9 (3): 551–589. doi:10.1111/j.1542-4774.2011.01017.x. ISSN   1542-4766.
  69. Halonen-Akatwijuka, Maija (2012). "Nature of human capital, technology and ownership of public goods". Journal of Public Economics. Fiscal Federalism. 96 (11): 939–945. doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2012.07.005. ISSN   0047-2727. S2CID   154075467.
  70. Schmitz, Patrick W. (2013). "Incomplete contracts and optimal ownership of public goods". Economics Letters. 118 (1): 94–96. doi:10.1016/j.econlet.2012.09.033. ISSN   0165-1765. S2CID   53520873.
  71. Schmitz, Patrick W. (2015). "Government versus private ownership of public goods: The role of bargaining frictions". Journal of Public Economics. 132: 23–31. doi: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2015.09.009 . ISSN   0047-2727. S2CID   155401327.
  72. Halonen-Akatwijuka, Maija; Pafilis, Evagelos (2020). "Common ownership of public goods". Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 180: 555–578. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2020.10.002. ISSN   0167-2681. S2CID   169842255.
  73. Schmitz, Patrick W. (2021). "Optimal ownership of public goods under asymmetric information". Journal of Public Economics. 198: 104424. doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2021.104424. ISSN   0047-2727. S2CID   236397476.
  74. "Statement on the occasion of the World NGO Day 2017". Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  75. Roberts, Susan G.; Jones III, John P.; Frohling, Oliver (2005). "NGOs and the Globalization of Managerialism: A Research Framework". World Development. Great Britain. 33 (11): 1846. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2005.07.004.
  76. Kate, Wright (2018). Who's Reporting Africa Now? Non-Governmental Organizations, Journalists, and Multimedia. Oxford: Peter Lang. ISBN   978-1-4331-5106-4.
  77. Mati, Jacob Mwathi; Wu, Fengshi; Edwards, Bob; El Taraboulsi, Sherine N.; Smith, David H. (2016). "24: Social Movement Associations and Activist-Protest Volunteering". The Palgrave Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 516–538. doi:10.1007/978-1-137-26317-9_25. ISBN   978-1-137-26316-2.
  78. {Keck, Margaret, and Kathryn Sikkink, 1998. Activists beyond borders: Advocacy networks in international politics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.}
  79. Wu, Fengshi (2005). "International Non-Governmental Actors in HIV/AIDS Prevention in China". Cell Research. 15 (11–12): 919–922. doi: 10.1038/ . PMID   16354570.
  80. "3sektorius".
  81. "THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS: THE EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE (07/14): 17–24 February 2014". United Nations. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  82. "Site Unavailable". Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  83. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (27 February 2014). "Helen Clark on World NGO Day" via YouTube.
  84. Shivji, Issa G. (2007). Silence in NGO discourse: the role and future of NGOs in Africa. Oxford, UK: Fahamu. p. 84. ISBN   978-0-9545637-5-2.
  85. 1 2 3 4 Pfeiffer, J (2003). "International NGOs and primary health care in Mozambique: the need for a new model of collaboration". Social Science & Medicine. 56 (4): 725–738. doi:10.1016/s0277-9536(02)00068-0. PMID   12560007.
  86. Jessica T. Mathews (January–February 1997). "Power Shift". Foreign Affairs (January/February 1997). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  87. Bond, M. (2000) "The Backlash against NGOs". Prospect .
  88. "Mother Teresa: A Communist View". Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link), Vijay Prashad, Australian Marxist Review, No. 40 August 1998
  89. Abahlali baseMjondolo, "Rethinking Public Participation from below" Archived 22 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine , Critical Dialogue (2006)
  90. Hallward, Peter (April 2008). Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment . London: Verso. ISBN   9781844672349.
  91. Peter Hallward responds to BBC Radio 4 program on Haiti, Tanbou, 11 January 2011
  92. Building unity in diversity: Social movement activism in the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, Sophie Oldfield & Kristian Stokke, 2004
  93. Ashraf Cassiem: South African Resistance Against Evictions, Marlon Crump, Poor Magazine, 2009
  94. Are NGOs enemies of SA's rural folk? Archived 22 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine , Youlendree Appasamy, Grocott's Mail, July 2013
  95. "NGO: The Guise of Innocence" Archived 5 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine , by Jenny O'Connor, New Left Project, 2012
  96. Topping, Alexandra; Elder, Miriam (19 January 2012). "Britain admits 'fake rock' plot to spy on Russians". The Guardian.
  97. Putin, Vladimir (10 February 2007). Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy (Speech). 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy. Munich, Germany. Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  98. Bond, Michael. "The Backlash against NGOs." Prospect, April 2000, pp.321. Print.
  99. 1 2 Bond, Michael (April 2000), "The Backlash against NGOs", Prospect, p. 323
  100. 1 2 Werker, Eric; Ahmed, Faisal Z. (2008). "What Do Nongovernmental Organizations Do?" (PDF). Journal of Economic Perspectives. 22 (2): 73–92. doi:10.1257/jep.22.2.73. S2CID   154246603. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 August 2020.
  101. Weber, N.; Christopherson, T. (2002). "The influence of non-governmental organizations on the creation of Natura 2000 during the European policy process". Forest Policy and Economics. 4 (1): 1–12. doi:10.1016/s1389-9341(01)00070-3.
  102. 1 2 3 Edwards, M. and Hulme, D. (2002) NGO Performance and Accountability: Introduction and Overview. "In Edwards, M. and Hulme, D., ed. 2002." The Earthscan Reader on NGO Management. UK: Earthscan Publications Ltd. Chapter 11.
  103. Chandhoke, Neera (2005). "How Global Is Global Civil Society?". Journal of World-Systems Research. 11 (2): 326–327. doi: 10.5195/JWSR.2005.388 .
  104. Edwards, M. and Hulme, D. (1996) Too Close for comfort? The impact of official aid on Non-Governmental Organisations. "World Development." 24(6), pp. 961–973.
  105. Ebrahim, A. (2003) "Accountability in practice: Mechanisms for NGOs". World Development 31(5), pp. 813–829.
  106. 1 2 Lindenberg, M. and Bryant, C. (2001) Going Global: Transforming Relief and Development NGOs. Bloomfield: Kumarian Press.
  107. , Jenkins, R. (2001) "Corporate Codes of Conduct: Self-Regulation in a Global Economy". Technology, Business and Society Programme Paper Number 2. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.
  108. Avina, J. (1993) The Evolutionary Life Cycles if Non-Governmental Development Organisations. "Public Administration and Development." 13(5), pp. 453–474.
  109. Anheier, H. and Themudo, N. (2002) Organisational forms of global civil society: Implications of going global. In: Anheier, H. Glasius, M. Kaldor, M, ed 2002.

Further reading