What is an NGO and the Roles they Play?

ngo meaning

Meaning of NGO

Non-governmental organizations or NGOs were first mentioned in Article 71 of the new Charter of the United Nations in 1945. Although there is no definite or formal definition of NGOs, they are generally defined as non-governmental organizations. Gains independent of government influence (although it can receive government funding).

NGOs are recognized in their registered form and can get all kinds of assistance including financial assistance when registered by the state registration authorities. An NGO can be managed, directed and run by members and others associated with it who are committed to social and ethical goals.

NGOs as a federation include groups and institutions with primary humanitarian and cooperative goals, not business goals that are completely or largely independent of government. NGOs are private organizations that can support development by organizing indigenous groups at the local, national and international levels. NGOs in the form of civic groups create awareness and influence in politics and include independent cooperatives, community associations, companies, groups and various other associations.

NGOs work for the upliftment of the socially and politically weaker sections of the society so as to improve their status in the society so that they can get equal rights and opportunities. These organizations can contribute to the development of society towards a better and developed way of life and existence. As a community group and organization, the NGO performs certain services, development-oriented functions and works with goals and objectives to achieve the necessary positive changes in the society, community, regions and situations.

Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)

Of the multitude of roles played by NGOs, the following six can be identified as important with the risk of being generalised:

Infrastructure development and operation:

Community organizations and cooperatives may acquire, divide and develop land, build apartments, provide infrastructure, and operate and maintain infrastructures such as wells or public toilets and waste collection services. You can also set up building material supply centers and other municipal business enterprises. In many cases, they require technical assistance or advice from high-level government agencies or NGOs.

Support pilot, demonstration and innovation projects:

NGOs get the benefit of a predetermined period of time to choose specific locations for innovative projects and to support the project, which removes some of the government deficit in this regard. NGOs can also be pilots for large government projects because of their ability to act faster than the government bureaucracy.

Facilitate Communication:

NGOs use methods of interpersonal communication and locate suitable entry points through which they gain the trust of the community they wish to benefit from. They will also have a good idea of ​​the viability of the projects they are undertaking. The importance of this role for the government is that NGOs can communicate information about the lives, skills, attitudes and cultural characteristics of people at the local level to the decision-making levels of the government.

NGOs can facilitate people-to-government upward and downward government-to-people communication. 

Bottom-up communication is about telling the government what the local people think, do and feel, while top-down communication is about letting the local people know what the government is planning and What does NGOs are also in a unique position to share information and network horizontally with other organizations performing similar functions.

Technical support and training:

Training institutions and NGOs can develop technical support and training capabilities and use them to support both community organizations and governments.

Research, Monitoring and Evaluation:

Innovative activities need to be carefully documented and shared; Effective participatory monitoring will make it possible to share the results with both the population itself and the project staff.

Advocating for and with the poor:

In some cases, NGOs become spokespersons or mediators of the poor, trying to influence government policies and programs on their behalf. This can be done through a variety of means, ranging from pilot and demonstration projects to participating in public forums and formulating government policies and plans, disseminating research and case studies on the poor. Thus, NGOs play a role ranging from advocates for the poor to implementers of government programs; From agitators and critics to partners and advisers; From sponsors of pilot projects to moderators.


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