What is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)?

ngo_logo

NAME: Non-Governmental Organization

ALIAS: N.G.O

DEFINITION: An organization independent of government control that carries out services in the interest of the society in-order to improve social welfare.
• NOTE: Although NGOs may be autonomous of government control, they however rely on grants offered by the government.

OPERATIONAL LEVEL: local, national or international.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS

1. Voluntary- anyone can become a member out of their own free will and cannot be forced to join.

2. Independent- they are autonomous of government control.

3. Not for profit- they are not profit oriented.

4. Not self serving- they are dedicated to serving the society and not individual benefit.

SOURCES OF FUNDS

• Fees (Property income, Membership)
• Public sector
• Grants and donations
• Volunteers
• Philanthropists

TYPES

1. Service and Delivery-These are NGOs which provide operational delivery of essential humanitarian, development and/or social services.

2. Research and Innovation- These are NGOs which aim to find new ways of responding to problems affecting the society.

3. Resource mobilization- These are NGOs that mobilize resources at an in individual or collective level and the mobilized resources may be human, financial or physical.

4. Human Resource development- These are NGOs that focus on building human capacity and skills of disadvantaged people or communities.

5. Public information and advocacy- These are NGOs associated with raising public awareness, advocating for reforms and campaigning for a particular cause.

6. Conflict resolution act as mediators and facilitators.

7. Brokerage-act as intermediaries between different sectors and groups.

ASSESSMENT OF NGOs

Just like any other organization formed, assessments are important so as to determine whether they are fulfilling their goals and to also offer accountability of different activities within the organization.

The key valuation areas include;

• Responsiveness to emerging social issues and complaints.
• Performance effectiveness- refers to the level of benefits and impacts experienced by its members, beneficiaries and society.
• Governance of the organization.
• Financial integrity- this entails sources of funds and accountability of how they are used.
• Credibility- refers to the accuracy of their information, fairness and equality.
• Organization capacity- refers to its policies, process and management sy
stems.
• Stakeholder access to the organization’s information.

CHALLENGES FACING NGOs

1. Lack of funds
2. Absence of strategic planning
3. Poor communication
4. Poor governance
5. Political instability (wars, coups)
6. Limited capacity (governance, fund-raising capabilities, technology standards, leadership abilities).
7. Poor networking.
8. Harsh economic conditions.
9. Lack of volunteers.
10. Political interference and bureaucracy

Related Post: How to register NGO in Kenya

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