Arundhati Roy’s position on NGOs from here:
A SECOND hazard facing mass movements is the NGO-ization of resistance. It will be easy to twist what I’m about to say into an indictment of all NGOs. That would be a falsehood. In the murky waters of fake NGOs set up or to siphon off grant money or as tax dodges (in states like Bihar, they are given as dowry), of course, there are NGOs doing valuable work. But it’s important to consider the NGO phenomenon in a broader political context. In India, for instance, the funded NGO boom began in the late 1980s and 1990s. It coincided with the opening of India’s markets to neoliberalism. Continue reading
—Syed Mohammad Ali
Engaging in a debate about the role of NGOs should not be confined to questioning their credibility, but also their ability to deliver services efficiently and in a sustained manner
A landmark Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness was put forth in 2005 which acknowledged that international development aid needs to respect the priorities of recipient countries and that donor organisations must begin to coordinate their activities with one another. In development terms, this understanding implied the need for donor alignment to improve the harmonisation of aid.
Three years have passed since this declaration was signed, yet the overall ineffectiveness of development assistance continues to evoke much criticism. International non-governmental organisations perhaps remain the harshest critics of aid effectiveness. But what about the effectiveness of these NGOs in utilising aid for development purposes themselves? Continue reading
Source: Michael Edwards, who recently stepped down as director of the Governance and Civil Society Program at the Ford Foundation, explores similar issues in “Have NGOs Made a Difference?”*
He finds that development NGOs have been influential in getting the mainstream to address the negative aspects of globalization, commit to participation and human rights as basic principles of development, and grapple with the implications of critical global issues like climate change and poverty in Africa.
Yet he views their performance wanting on several fronts – mainly that they have not been innovative enough to fundamentally influence the political structures that perpetuate poverty and human rights abuses, nor change the power relations that define class, gender, and race. Continue reading