Non-governmental Organizations

Non-governmental Organizations

Organization that operates independently from any form of government. is any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments, advocate and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.

There is a focus on human rights, environmental, or development work. Some are organized around specific issues, such as human rights, environment or health. They provide analysis and expertise, serve as early warning mechanisms and help monitor and implement international agreements.

The World Bank classifies NGOs as either operational NGOs, which are primarily concerned with development projects, or advocacy NGOs, which are primarily concerned with promoting a cause. In many cases, the NGOs are misused by donors to fulfill Donors agenda even if it is against the national agenda.

Variations of NGOs include:

  • BINGO (business-friendly international NGO or big international NGO); the Red Cross is one example of a BINGO.
  • ENGO (environmental NGO); the World Wildlife Fund is one example of an ENGO.
  • GONGO (government-operated NGO), by definition not an NGO but an organization created by a government to resemble an NGO to further some agenda.
  • INGO (international NGO); Oxfam is one example of an INGO.
  • QUANGO (quasi-autonomous NGO), an NGO which may have some governmental members; the ISO is one example of a QUANGO.
  • RINGO (religious international NGO); the Catholic Relief Services is one example of a RINGO.

Other NGO acronyms include DONGO (Donor Organized NGO), TANGO (technical assistance NGO) and MANGO (market advocacy NGO).


Examples of some renowned NGO’s:

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA):

Purpose: To engage in policy development in Canada and internationally


  • Increasing Food Security
  • Securing the future of children and youth
  • Stimulating sustainable economic growth

UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): Purpose: It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. The number of refugees of concern to UNHCR stood at 10.5 million at the beginning of 2011

Amnesty International: Goal is to defend human rights. Amnesty International is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion, and is financially autonomous, due to donations from individual members and supporters

Oxfam: Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in 92 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty.

BRAC: Formerly known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, “is a development organisation dedicated to alleviating poverty by empowering the poor to bring about change in their own lives.” BRAC began in 1972 and has established itself as “a pioneer in recognising and tackling the many different realities of poverty.”



Non-governmental organization (NGO) movements to alleviate poverty, protect the environment, or advocate for human rights are widespread throughout the developing world, and, as of 2002, are estimated to account for over 30% of international development aid. While many of the smaller NGOs in this group are seen as providing positive, uplifting services to local communities, larger multi-national examples of social organizations are prone to the same types of endemic corruption as other corporate entities. As well, NGOs often promote ideologies such as equal rights for women that are in direct conflict with a local government’s political aims.


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