Just development is an approach which most grassroots NGOs find most appropriate to their activities. Account for the main reasons why this is appealing to NGOs.
Most developing countries have tried different strategies and approaches in an effort to achieve national development. Some of the tried strategies include; modernisation, import substitution and structural adjustment programmes. Despite of all these approaches, development countries have continued to experience high levels of poverty and general under development. The failure of old development approaches led to an increased optimism that Non Governmental Organisations, NGO be considered as alternative strategy to poverty alleviation and long term sustainable development. This essay will endeavour to discuss the concept of ‘Just Development’ and the reasons as to why most grass root Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) find this concept appealing to them. To achieve this, the essay will first define Non-Governmental Organizations in detail and further describe their various classifications. It will also discuss the origins of these NGOs and briefly describe their operations. The essay will then look at the definition of the concept of ‘Just Development’ and then show clearly, why NGOs find this concept appealing to them. Finally, a conclusion will be given at the end to wrap up the essay. Based on the vast expanse of literature that has tried to explain what constitutes Non Governmental Organisations, it is difficult to have a single definition of an NGO. There is a great diversity of agencies and organizations that call themselves NGOs. These organizations include among others pressure groups, self-help clubs, consumer and farmer cooperatives, associations, environmental advocacy groups, community development organizations to mention but a few. It is because of such diversity and different objectives such organizations engage in that makes it difficult to give a clear universal definition of what an NGO is. In fact, definitions vary from one country to another as guided by the legislation of a particular state. However, for the purpose of this essay, three definitions will be tackled. A Non Governmental Organisation, (NGO) may be defined as autonomous, non-profit making organisation initiated by private citizens for a stated relief or development purpose supported by voluntary contribution in cash or in cash. (Potter, Binns, Elliont and Smith, 2008). The United Nations Development Program defines NGO as;
Any non-profit making, voluntary citizens group which is organised on a local, national and international level. It is task oriented and driven by people with a common interest. NGOs perform a variety of services and humanitarian function, brings citizen’s concern to government, monitor policies and encourage political participation at the community level. They provide analysis and expertise, serve as early warning mechanisms and help monitor and implement international agreements. NGO’s activities are focused on the affair The World Bank defines Non-Governmental Organizations as “private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interest of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social service, or undertake community development”. (Todaro and Smith, 2010) In a Zambian context, according to the Non-Governmental Organizations Act 2007, an NGO is; “a private voluntary grouping of individuals or associations, whether corporate or unincorporated, not established or operated for profit, partisan politics, or any commercial purposes, and who or which have organized themselves for the purpose of promoting the interest of the poor. The other way of understanding the nature of NGOs is to analyse the various categories into which NGOs can be classified. According to Clark (1991) NGOs can be classified in the following lines; Relief and Welfare Agencies. These are non governmental organisations that specialise...
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