NGO is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations (UN), and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are not conventional for-profit business. In the cases in which NGOs are funded totally or partially by governments, the NGO maintains its nongovernmental status by excluding government representatives from membership in the organization. The term is usually applied only to organizations that pursue some wider social aim that has political aspects, but that are not overtly political organizations such as political parties. Unlike the term "intergovernmental organization", the term "non-governmental organization" has no generally agreed legal definition. In many jurisdictions, these types of organization are called "civil society organizations" or referred to by other names. The number of internationally operating NGOs is estimated at 40,000. National numbers are even higher: Russia has 277,000 NGOs; India is estimated to have around 3.3 million NGOs in year 2009, which is one NGO for less than 400 Indians, and many times the number of primary schools and primary health centres in India.
1 Definition of NGO 1.1 NGO consultative status with ECOSOC 1.2 NPOs and NGOs 2 History 3 Types of NGOs 4 Environmental NGOs 5 Activities 6 Methods 6.1 Public relations 6.2 Project management 7 Staffing 8 Funding 9 Monitoring and control 10 Legal status 11 Critiques 12 Challenges to Legitimacy 13 Education 14 See also 15 Notes and references 16 Further reading 17 External links
NGOs are difficult to define and classify due to the term s inconsistent use. To attempt a classification of NGOs requires a framework that includes the orientation and the organization's level of operation. An NGO's orientation refers to the type of activities an organization takes on. These activities might include environmental, development, or advocacy work. An NGO's level of operation indicates the scale at which an organization works on, like the difference in work between an international NGO and community or national NGO. One of the earliest mentions of the term "NGO" was in 1945, when the UN was created. The UN introduced the term "NGO" to distinguish between the participation of international private organizations and intergovernmental specialized agencies. According to the UN, all kinds of private organizations that are independent from government control can be recognized as "NGOs." "NGOs" cannot seek to diminish a nation's government in the shape of an opposing political party; NGOs also need to be non-criminal and non-profit. Professor Peter Willets, from the City University of London, argues the definition of NGOs can be interpreted differently by various organizations and depending on a situation s context. He defines an NGO as “"an independent voluntary association of people acting together on a continuous basis for some common purpose other than achieving government office, making money or illegal activities." In this view, two main types of NGOs are recognized according to the activities they pursue: operational and campaigning NGO s. Although Willets proposes the operational and campaigning NGOs as a tool to differentiate the main activities of these organizations, he also explains that they have more similarities than differences. Their activities are unrestricted; thus operational NGOs may need to campaign and campaigning NGOs may need to take on structural projects.
In order to be eligible for consultative status, an NGO must have been in existence for at least two years and to have been properly registered with its respective authorities and government. The organizations must have a democratic constitution, representative authority, established headquarters, accountability for transparent and democratic decision-making and be...
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