Non-Governmental Organizations

Non-governmental organizations are organizations independent of any government. They are voluntary and legally formed and operate nonprofit-oriented businesses. The government is not involved in the management or membership of the NGOs, but it can fund them if need be. Worldwide governments fund the NGOs partially or fully. They are non-religious and non-military and they do not contravene with the welfare of the state and the public (Irie n.pag.).

The NGOs’ origin dates back to the 18th century, but the term became popular in 1945 after the UN came into existence to ensure that human rights were adhered to and people had a sustainable environment. The UN and the NGOs work together and consult each other on the issues that affect humankind. For instance, Earth Summit meetings discuss the environmental issues like climatic change and poverty among others. Today, the NGOs are any privately owned, nonprofit making organizations that are acceptable by the government. However, the meaning of the NGOs depends on the context and aims at working for a common purpose (Willetts n.pag.).

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The NGOs can be categorized into the community-based organizations, citywide organizations, national or international NGOs, depending on the level of co-operation and nature. The NGOs have a wide scope. They can be classified into the operational NGOs that are concerned with the development of the projects. In addition, there are advocacy NGOs that educate people on the different issues (Edwards and Hulme n.pag.).

The NGOs mostly aim at meeting the problems of the communities to enhance their well-being. They assist government in giving services due to their strategic planning. Most donors use the NGOs because they are not vulnerable to corruption, and this has made them influential in decision making by the government. Critiques of the NGOs argue that they are imperialists, especially in the developing countries. The NGOs are claimed to be hidden in the aristocratic form, whereby people are assisted but, at the same time, they are dictated on what to do (Shivji and Issa n.pag.).

The NGOs are under co-ordination boards that register or deregister them if they violate the law. Daily activities of the NGOs are also coordinated in order to ensure that they are in line with the government policies. The boards coordinate submission of returns after three weeks. Failure to do this leads to the penalty. The NGOs have increased projects in both developed and developing countries. Monitoring and evaluation committees show that the NGOs are effective in comparison with 1980s (Howes n.pag.).

The NGOs are faced with challenges that make them non-effective and inefficient. The main challenges are inadequate funds to cater for all their planned activities and programmes. They depend on the donors; however, they do not contribute the funds regularly. Thus, it makes them unable to implement some planned activities due to the inadequate funds (Edwards and Hulme n.pag.). Poor governance is another challenge, where some individuals mismanage funds for their own self-interest. Good governance can be achieved by finding good board members able to ensure transparency and accountability. In addition, the NGOs face problem, because most of them are unable to pay and give allowances to the board members (Kershaw n.pag.).

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Another challenge is poor strategic planning and poor networking with the community. Sometimes, the NGOs may not be in touch with the immediate need of the community, and this leads to the failure of participation by both parties. On the other hand, the NGOs and the communities may participate but face the challenge of inadequate resources. Finally, there may be a limited capacity in terms of technical and organizational system. There is a low level of technology as there is no capacity building. For the NGOs to be effective, the highlighted challenges should be corrected to ensure that they meet their expected goals (Kershaw n.pag.).

The NGOs manage their day-to-today activities with their own budgets. These budgets depend on the size of the NGOs. Some staffs in the NGOs are paid, while others work voluntary. Usually, these budgets are fund by the private donors, government, sales of goods and services, and contribution from the members (Edwards and Hulme n.pag.).

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