Abstract or Introduction
Two decades ago governmental development policy came into a crises and was criticised to have no results on poverty reduction. Hence, Northern NGOs were said to be the best alternative to developmental help through governments and their number dramatically increased (Warkentin, 2001, p. 5). However, today NGOs are confronted with a new “global policy agenda” (Fowler, 1997, p. XIV). As developmental issues have changed a lot in recent times, Northern NGOs themselves have to face an identity crises and are seen in a much more critical way than before. Therefore questions arose, regarding whether or not Northern NGOs can really come up to expectations, and if they are able to cope with developmental issues better than governmental organisations. In other words: How well equipped are Northern NGOs to promote development in the South?
In this essay it will be argued that NGOs still form an effective part of developmental work in the South which cannot be missed. They still have an advantage compared to governmental organisations although some advantages, which were said to exist, never existed in reality. Nevertheless, while NGOs had to undergo extreme changes in structure and aims, they lost a lot of their characteristics, which were of basic importance for their special possibility to do a better work in the South than governmental organisations. Hence, if they are not able to stop this process of loosing their roots they become interchangeable, and therefore loose their legitimacy. Thus, they have to adapt new skills, create new networks and, particularly, have to revert back to their roots which make them so special and effective.
To answer the question I first want to work out the characteristics, backgrounds and structures of Northern NGOs. In looking at their possibilities and limits, I want to discuss the question of whether the common belief in comparative advantages of NGOs can be proved or not. I will then refer to the new challenge of networking that they have to cope with in our times, especially the rise of Southern NGOs. Finally, I want to sum up my results and try to find possibilities and solutions of adapting new methods of co-operation with Northern and Southern NGOs, which Northern NGOs should pick up to make sure that they will still play an important role in the future of developmental policy.
- Quote paper
- Anne Uhlhaas (Author), 2001, How well equipped are Northern Non-governmental organisations to promote development in the South?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/11519