compiled by Dee Finney




9-4-15 - MEDITATION -  The woman looks like a reporter.  She has short dark hair.  She says   "They tell me the diapers are not washed."  (Full of shit?)  "This is political!"

I then see numbers like a countdown - 1-5    1-4    1-3    1-2   

I was trying to write them down between a lot of other numbers in lists.


9-4-15 - DREAM - I was getting dressed for work, and I looked nice in a dark green pant suit, then realized I had been wearing it for three days and that wouldn't do, so I changed to a dark blue pant suit.

I was getting ready to go to my car, when I saw out the window, an older man carrying a little boy like he was hurt and he was trying to shove him into the window in another building and he looked desperate.

Then I saw a female neighbor doing the same thing with her little girl in another building and immediately thought - disaster - and ran over to the woman who had finally got her little girl into the window and closed herself inside as well.

As I ran over to the woman's apartment to ask her what was going on, she opened her door and told me that the old man was trying to get compensation from some organization and that had happened over a year ago and he was trying to get her involved as well.

I wondered what was going on.  Then I realized the whole thing was intra-regime and they were both trying to do the same thing.

NOTE:  I never heard the word 'intra-regime' before so I looked it up on google along with the word 'children' and this is what came up.    




Corruption in the NGO world: what it is and how to tackle it

by Jérôme Larché , Grotius International


money roll

Corruption is a sensitive issue in the NGO world. Humanitarian actors need to understand what corruption is, recognise the forms it can take in humanitarian response, determine its true scale and better understand the conditions which lead to it. They also need to identify what mechanisms need to be put in place or strengthened to guard against corruption, even in the most difficult contexts. Mitigating against corruption is necessary if NGOs are to achieve both operational efficiency and accountability to their stakeholders. However, it is also important to recognise that adopting a proactive and transparent approach to dealing with corruption may involve short-term risks to an NGO’s reputation.

What is corruption?

Transparency International (TI) defines corruption as ‘the abuse of power or position for private gain’.[1] This covers ‘active corruption’, such as bribery, and ‘passive corruption’, or allowing oneself to be bribed, as well as misappropriation. The exact scale of the problem in the humanitarian aid sector is by its nature very difficult to determine, but is assumed to be at much lower levels than corruption in the private commercial sector.

Another model of corruption takes into account the sources from which these risks emanate.[2] ‘Contextual’ corruption is linked to the environment surrounding the intervention (corrupt regimes, governments, police forces). ‘Systemic’ corruption refers to the humanitarian system, with its multiple, interacting and interdependent actors. ‘Intra-organisational’ corruption is linked to the constraints inherent within each NGO (human resources, active prevention strategies against corruption risks, verification procedures). This more operational model can help in prioritising and identifying NGOs’ scope of action in light of these risks. Thus, while NGOs have little hope of eradicating contextual corruption, they can and should take steps to prevent or address corruption within their own organisations.

A number of factors which can lead to corruption in humanitarian operations have also been identified.[3] These include lack of planning (or even the impossibility of planning), the number of humanitarian actors present and the financial resources at stake. The way in which the international humanitarian system has developed in recent years, including the exponential growth in the number of NGOs and the development of the humanitarian ‘industry’, has also been a contributing factor. Finally, we should not forget that corruption exists in developed countries, as well as developing ones.

Corruption and humanitarian aid: new dilemmas?

The number of NGOs has grown exponentially over the last 20 years, as has the scale of resources available. In 2010, it was estimated that humanitarian spending reached just shy of $17 billion.[4] Some NGOs have become transnational, with very large budgets. One American NGO, World Vision International, has a budget topping $2.6bn.

NGOs are often reluctant to talk about corruption for fear that it will lead to bad publicity and, consequently, a loss of funding. Working across borders to reach people in need can also give rise to allegations of corruption. The degree of confidentiality necessary to negotiate with those who control access can sometimes make transparency difficult to achieve. Moving clandestinely across borders to access affected populations, as NGOs have done over the years in many conflict situations, can also raise questions about the legitimacy and legality of such action. During the Afghan war in the 1980s, for instance, the Soviet-allied government in Kabul did not want humanitarian actors in Afghanistan, particularly in areas controlled by resistance factions. In this context, humanitarian NGOs had no choice but to cross the Pakistan–Afghanistan border illegally (without permission), through Peshawar and the North West Frontier Province. When humanitarian personnel were captured and held hostage by Soviet or Afghan forces, NGOs argued that the illegality of their actions did not decrease their legitimacy.

Humanitarian organisations cannot ignore the possible consequences of paying bribes or illegal taxes, especially in armed conflicts. Choosing to pay an illegal tax or bribe (in cash or in kind) when confronted by armed guards at a checkpoint may enable the organisation to access people in need, but can be misinterpreted as corruption. Choosing not to pay can mean that humanitarian needs go unmet and that lives may be lost or the risk of harm increased for NGO staff.

NGOs must widen the scope of risk assessment to consider whether their programmes are vulnerable to corruption, such as theft or misappropriation of funds or in-kind goods by warring parties, real or perceived inequities in the distribution of aid and sexual abuse and exploitation of beneficiaries by agency or partner staff. While every situation is different, in all cases NGOs have to balance their commitment to humanitarian principles with the need to control the risk of corruption so as to be truly accountable to their beneficiaries and donors. They should also be transparent with stakeholders about these challenges, and how they may affect decisions about whether or not to continue their work.

Still a taboo?

Some NGOs, particularly in Nordic countries, have chosen to publicise the results of corruption cases as well as the anti-corruption policies that they have implemented. For example, DanChurchAid (DCA) has a website page detailing corruption cases within the organisation and how they were dealt with.[5] Despite the financial crisis that began in 2008, DCA increased its 2009 budget to 498 million DKK (about $123m), a third of which came from private donors (the same proportion as in 2008). Being transparent about corruption does not appear to have negatively affected donor perceptions of DCA. Nonetheless, many NGOs believe that reporting cases of corruption is a major risk with potentially irreversible consequences for humanitarian organisations and their activities. They fear that such cases can undermine their credibility and reputation (particularly with the media), as well as discouraging public and private donations. In France, the Prometheus Foundation, a group of the largest French private companies, including oil, health insurance and pharmaceutical firms, has issued an ‘NGO Transparency Barometer’. The methodology, based only on available public data from NGOs’ websites, has been openly criticised by Coordination Sud, the French NGO forum.[6]

To open up the debate on corruption and to promote preventive measures, Médecins du Monde (MDM) led a study in 2008 which aimed to interview the 17 largest French NGOs regarding their perceptions of corruption, their approaches to field work and appraising and managing risks, and the procedures they had in place to minimise and prevent such risks.[7] Surprisingly, 11 of the 17 NGOs contacted refused to participate in this (strictly confidential) study. Among NGOs that agreed to take part, most recognised that cases of corruption were part of the significant operational challenges around humanitarian aid. The study confirmed what TI had already demonstrated: that humanitarian operations are most vulnerable to corruption in the procurement, transport and distribution of medicines, food, building materials and other consumables, particularly in large, rapid-onset emergencies.[8]

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It is also important to remember that most emergency situations occur in countries where corruption is already widespread. The great majority of agency staff questioned in the 2008 study believed that corruption was primarily contextual in origin. Over half had witnessed incidents of corruption, been offered bribes or asked to pay them or had been invited to participate in corrupt activities.

NGOs need to ensure that they are well-informed about the nature and level of corruption in the countries in which they operate. This can be done by using, among other sources, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and TI reports on corruption levels. Although NGOs are unlikely to be able to address the root causes of ‘contextual’ corruption at a country level, individually or directly, by working with other NGOs and civil society it may be possible to mitigate the impact on humanitarian operations and local governance. In Bangladesh, for instance, 66.7% of households experienced some form of corruption when trying to access public services. Forty-eight percent of those interviewed encountered corruption in the health service, primarily bribery and nepotism. The most obvious examples were doctors charging for prescriptions and referring patients to their private clinics, and patients having to pay extra fees for tests in government hospitals. Community action at field level resulted in the creation of Committees of Concerned Citizens (CCCs), which acted as watchdogs on local governance and attitudes in both the education and health sectors. This led to dramatic improvements in the quality of care, and significantly reduced bribery, nepotism and negligence.[10]

Accountability initiatives

At the international level, TI has just finalised a practical guide to identifying the weak links in the humanitarian response system in order to improve awareness and as far as possible prevent corrupt practices.[11] The guide also devotes significant attention to how to monitor and evaluate anti-corruption measures. Several NGOs, notably from English-speaking countries, participated in the development of this document, which is more technical than political.

In 1997, the Ethics and Transparency Committee of Coordination Sud drafted a charter of good practice.[12] Most large French NGOs are members of the Comité de la Charte, an independent organisation whose aim is to promote financial transparency. NGOs belonging to the committee are required to have their activities (financial and operational) audited each year by a certified auditor. NGO programmes and accounts are also subject to various external audits (several per year) commissioned by donors including EUROPAID and ECHO, as well as by the Cour des Comptes (the government audit office). In addition, most French NGOs have established internal control mechanisms which enable information from the field to be verified and cross-checked.


One of the lessons of the MDM study, which has also been confirmed by TI, is that it is extremely important for field teams to have appropriate and clearly defined intervention strategies, good knowledge of the field context and training on how to identify and reduce the risks of corruption, particularly operational risk factors associated with the procurement, transport, storage and distribution of relief goods.

As a complex global phenomenon with significant local consequences, corruption is a critical aspect of humanitarian thinking and action. Good governance and transparency are at the heart of NGO legitimacy. NGOs must work with Transparency International, the OECD and other institutional partners and private donors in order to fight corruption effectively. Strengthening community involvement in the implementation and evaluation of humanitarian (and development) programmes improves the ‘acceptance’ of NGOs by the beneficiary population and helps to mitigate against corruption and promote better local governance. We need an open debate on the risks of corruption and how to address them, without undermining donor funding to and beneficiary confidence in NGOs. As well as strictly operational considerations, corruption constitutes an important ethical and political challenge for humanitarian NGOs.

Jérôme Larché is a doctor, Associate Researcher at the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique and Delegate Director of Grotius International. He is a former board member of Médecins du Monde-France.

[1] Transparency International, Global Corruption Report, 2006.

[2] Nicholas Stockton, Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Relief Response, ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific, September 2005,

[3] Daniel Maxwell et al., Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Assistance: Final Research Report, Feinstein International Center, Humanitarian Policy Group and TI, 2008.

[4] Development Initiatives, GHA Report 2011,

[5] See

[6] See

[7] MDM in partnership with Sciences-Po Paris, Analyse de la corruption dans le secteur de l’aide humanitaire et perspectives, 2008. The 17 NGOs approached account for more than 80% of French humanitarian aid.

[8] See Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Assistance.

[9] Michael Sheridan, ‘Massive Fraud Hits Tsunami Aid’, Times Online,

[10] C. Knox, ‘Dealing with Sectoral Corruption in Bangladesh: Developing Citizen Involvement’, Public Administration and Development, 29, 2009.

[11] TI, Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Operations, 2010.

[12] See



A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an organization that is neither a part of a government nor a conventional for-profit business.

Usually set up by ordinary citizens, NGOs may be funded by governments, foundations, businesses, or private persons. Some avoid formal funding altogether and are run primarily by volunteers. NGOs are highly diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, and take different forms in different parts of the world. Some may have charitable status, while others may be registered for tax exemption based on recognition of social purposes. Others may be fronts for political, religious, or other interests.

The number of NGOs in the United States is estimated at 1.5 million. Russia has 277,000 NGOs. India is estimated to have had around 2 million NGOs in 2009, just over one NGO per 600 Indians, and many times the number of primary schools and primary health centres in India.

Tags: Governance, NGOs, Principles, Accountability

NGOs are difficult to define, and the term 'NGO' is not always used consistently. In some countries the term NGO is applied to an organization that in another country would be called an NPO, and vice-versa. There are many different classifications of NGO in use. The most common focus is on "orientation" and "level of operation". An NGO's orientation refers to the type of activities it takes on. These activities might include human rights, environmental, improving health, or development work. An NGO's level of operation indicates the scale at which an organization works, such as local, regional, national, or international.

The term "non-governmental organization" was first coined in 1945, when the United Nations (UN) was created. The UN, itself an inter-governmental organization, made it possible for certain approved specialized international non-state agencies — i.e., non-governmental organizations — to be awarded observer status at its assemblies and some of its meetings. Later the term became used more widely. Today, according to the UN, any kind of private organization that is independent from government control can be termed an "NGO", provided it is not-for-profit, nonprevention, and not simply an opposition political party.

One characteristic these diverse organizations share is that their non-profit status means they are not hindered by short-term financial objectives. Accordingly, they are able to devote themselves to issues which occur across longer time horizons, such as climate change, malaria prevention or a global ban on landmines. Public surveys reveal that NGOs often enjoy a high degree of public trust, which can make them a useful – but not always sufficient – proxy for the concerns of society and stakeholders.


NGO/GRO (governmental related organisations) types can be understood by their orientation and level of operation.

By orientation

By level of operation

Apart from "NGO", there are many alternative or overlapping terms in use, including: 

third sector organization (TSO), 

non-profit organization (NPO),

voluntary organization (VO),

civil society organization (CSO), 

grassroots organization (GO), 

social movement organization (SMO),

private voluntary organization (PVO), 

self-help organization (SHO) and

non-state actors (NSAs).

In Spanish, French, Italian and other Romance languages, the 'mirrored' abbreviation "ONG" is in use, which has the same meaning as "NGO" (for example Organización no gubernamental in Spanish).

Governmental related organizations / non-governmental organizations are a heterogeneous group. As a result, a long list of additional acronyms has developed, including:

USAID refers to NGOs as private voluntary organizations. However, many scholars have argued that this definition is highly problematic as many NGOs are in fact state- or corporate-funded and -managed projects and have professional staff.

GRO/NGOs exist for a variety of reasons, usually to further the political or social goals of their members or founders. Examples include improving the state of the natural environment, encouraging the observance of human rights, improving the welfare of the disadvantaged, or representing a corporate agenda. However, there are a huge number of such organizations and their goals cover a broad range of political and philosophical positions. This can also easily be applied to private schools and athletic organizations.

Track II diplomacy

Main article: Track II diplomacy

Track II dialogue, or Track II diplomacy, is transnational coordination that involves non-official members of the government including epistemic communities as well as former policy-makers or analysts. Track II diplomacy aims to get policymakers and policy analysts to come to a common solution through discussions by unofficial means. Unlike the Track I diplomacy where government officials, diplomats and elected leaders gather to talk about certain issues, Track II diplomacy consists of experts, scientists, professors and other figures that are not involved in government affairs. The members of Track II diplomacy usually have more freedom to exchange ideas and come up with compromises on their own.


There are also numerous classifications of NGOs. The typology the World Bank uses divides them into Operational and Advocacy:

NGOs do vary in their methods. Some act primarily as lobbyists, while others primarily conduct programs and activities. For instance, an NGO such as Oxfam, concerned with poverty alleviation, might provide needy people with the equipment and skills to find food and clean drinking water, whereas an NGO like the FFDA helps through investigation and documentation of human rights[citation needed] violations and provides legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses. Others, such as Afghanistan Information Management Services, provide specialized technical products and services to support development activities implemented on the ground by other organizations.

NGOs were intended to fill a gap in government services, but in countries like India and China, NGOs are slowly gaining a position in decision making. In the interest of sustainability, most donors require that NGOs demonstrate a relationship with governments. State Governments themselves are vulnerable because they lack economic resources, and potentially strategic planning and vision. They are therefore sometimes tightly bound by a nexus of NGOs, political bodies, commercial organizations and major donors/funders, making decisions that have short term outputs but no long term affect. In India, for instance, NGOs are under regulated, political, and recipients of large government and international donor funds. NGOs often take up responsibilities outside their skill ambit. Governments have no access to the number of projects or amount of funding received by these NGOs. There is a pressing need to regulate this group while not curtailing their unique role as a supplement to government services.


Operational NGOs seek to "achieve small-scale change directly through projects." They mobilize financial resources, materials, and volunteers to create localized programs. They hold large-scale fundraising events and may apply to governments and organizations for grants or contracts to raise money for projects. They often operate in a hierarchical structure; a main headquarters being staffed by professionals who plan projects, create budgets, keep accounts, and report and communicate with operational fieldworkers who work directly on projects. Operational NGOs deal with a wide range of issues, but are most often associated with the delivery of services or environmental issues, emergency relief, and public welfare. Operational NGOs can be further categorized by the division into relief-oriented versus development-oriented organizations; according to whether they stress service delivery or participation; whether they are religious or secular; and whether they are more public- or private-oriented. Although operational NGOs can be community-based, many are national or international. The defining activity of operational NGOs is the implementation of projects.


Campaigning NGOs seek to "achieve large-scale change promoted indirectly through influence of the political system." Campaigning NGOs need an efficient and effective group of professional members who are able to keep supporters informed, and motivated. They must plan and host demonstrations and events that will keep their cause in the media. They must maintain a large informed network of supporters who can be mobilized for events to garner media attention and influence policy changes. The defining activity of campaigning NGOs is holding demonstrations. Campaigning NGOs often deal with this issues relating to human rights, women's rights, children's rights. The primary purpose of an Advocacy NGO is to defend or promote a specific cause. As opposed to operational project management, these organizations typically try to raise awareness, acceptance and knowledge by lobbying, press work and activist event.[

Both operational and campaigning

It is not uncommon for NGOs to make use of both activities. Many times, operational NGOs will use campaigning techniques if they continually face the same issues in the field that could be remedied through policy changes. At the same time, Campaigning NGOs, like human rights organizations often have programs that assist the individual victims they are trying to help through their advocacy work.

Public relations

Non-governmental organizations need healthy relationships with the public to meet their goals. Foundations and charities use sophisticated public relations campaigns to raise funds and employ standard lobbying techniques with governments. Interest groups may be of political importance because of their ability to influence social and political outcomes. A code of ethics was established in 2002 by The World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.

Project management

There is an increasing awareness that management techniques are crucial to project success in non-governmental organizations. Generally, non-governmental organizations that are private have either a community or environmental focus. They address varieties of issues such as religion, emergency aid, or humanitarian affairs. They mobilize public support and voluntary contributions for aid; they often have strong links with community groups in developing countries, and they often work in areas where government-to-government aid is not possible. NGOs are accepted as a part of the international relations landscape, and while they influence national and multilateral policy-making, increasingly they are more directly involved in local action.

Corporate structure


Some NGOs are highly professionalized and rely mainly on paid staff. Others are based around voluntary labour and are less formalized. Not all people working for non-governmental organizations are volunteers.

Many NGOs are associated with the use of international staff working in 'developing' countries, but there are many NGOs in both North and South who rely on local employees or volunteers. There is some dispute as to whether expatriates should be sent to developing countries. Frequently this type of personnel is employed to satisfy a donor who wants to see the supported project managed by someone from an industrialized country. However, the expertise of these employees or volunteers may be counterbalanced by a number of factors: the cost of foreigners is typically higher, they have no grassroot connections in the country they are sent to, and local expertise is often undervalued.

The NGO sector is an essential employer in terms of numbers. For example, by the end of 1995, CONCERN worldwide, an international Northern NGO working against poverty, employed 174 expatriates and just over 5,000 national staff working in ten developing countries in Africa and Asia, and in Haiti.


Whether the NGOs are small or large, various NGOs need budgets to operate. The amount of budget that they need would differ from NGOs to NGOs. Unlike small NGOs, large NGOs may have annual budgets in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. For instance, the budget of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) was over US$540 million in 1999. Funding such large budgets demands significant fundraising efforts on the part of most NGOs. Major sources of NGO funding are membership dues, the sale of goods and services, grants from international institutions or national governments, and private donations. Several EU-grants provide funds accessible to NGOs.

Even though the term "non-governmental organization" implies independence from governments, many NGOs depend heavily on governments for their funding. A quarter of the US$162 million income in 1998 of the famine-relief organization Oxfam was donated by the British government and the EU. The Christian relief and development organization World Vision United States collected US$55 million worth of goods in 1998 from the American government.

Government funding of NGOs is controversial, since, according to David Rieff, writing in The New Republic, "the whole point of humanitarian intervention was precisely that NGOs and civil society had both a right and an obligation to respond with acts of aid and solidarity to people in need or being subjected to repression or want by the forces that controlled them, whatever the governments concerned might think about the matter." Some NGOs, such as Greenpeace do not accept funding from governments or intergovernmental organizations.

Overhead costs

Overhead is the amount of money that is spent on running an NGO rather than on projects. This includes office expenses, salaries, banking and bookkeeping costs. What percentage of overall budget is spent on overhead is often used to judge an NGO with less than 4% being viewed as good. The World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations states that ideally more than 86% should be spent on programs (less than 20% on overhead). The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has specific guidelines on how high overhead can be to receive funding based on how the money is to be spent with overhead often needing to be less than 5-7%. While the World Bank typically allows 37%. A high percentage of overhead to total expenditures can make it more difficult to generate funds. High overhead costs may also generate criticism with some claiming the certain NGOs with high overhead are being run simply to benefit the people working for them.

While overhead costs can be a legitimate concern, a sole focus on them can be counterproductive. Research published by the Urban Institute and the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford University have shown how rating agencies create incentives for nonprofits to lower and hide overhead costs, which may actually reduce organizational effectiveness by starving organizations of the infrastructure they need to effectively deliver services. A more meaningful rating system would provide, in addition to financial data, a qualitative evaluation of an organization’s transparency and governance: (1) an assessment of program effectiveness; (2) and an evaluation of feedback mechanisms designed for donors and beneficiaries; and (3) such a rating system would also allow rated organizations to respond to an evaluation done by a rating agency. More generally, the popular discourse of nonprofit evaluation should move away from financial notions of organizational effectiveness and toward more substantial understandings of programmatic impact.

Monitoring and control

In the March 2000 report on United Nations Reform priorities, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan wrote in favor of international humanitarian intervention, arguing that the international community has a "right to protect"[27] citizens of the world against ethnic cleansing, genocide, and crimes against humanity. On the heels of the report, the Canadian government launched the Responsibility to Protect R2P project, outlining the issue of humanitarian intervention. While the R2P doctrine has wide applications, among the more controversial has been the Canadian government's use of R2P to justify its intervention and support of the coup in Haiti.[29] Years after R2P, the World Federalist Movement, an organization which supports "the creation of democratic global structures accountable to the citizens of the world and call for the division of international authority among separate agencies", has launched Responsibility to Protect – Engaging Civil Society (R2PCS). A collaboration between the WFM and the Canadian government, this project aims to bring NGOs into lockstep with the principles outlined under the original R2P project.

The governments of the countries an NGO works or is registered in may require reporting or other monitoring and oversight. Funders generally require reporting and assessment, such information is not necessarily publicly available. There may also be associations and watchdog organizations that research and publish details on the actions of NGOs working in particular geographic or program areas.

In recent years, many large corporations have increased their corporate social responsibility departments in an attempt to preempt NGO campaigns against certain corporate practices. As the logic goes, if corporations work with NGOs, NGOs will not work against corporations. Greater collaboration between corporations and NGOs creates inherent risks of co-optation for the weaker partner, typically the nonprofit involved.

In December 2007, The United States Department of Defense Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) S. Ward Casscells established an International Health Division under Force Health Protection & Readiness. Part of International Health's mission is to communicate with NGOs in areas of mutual interest. Department of Defense Directive 3000.05, in 2005, requires DoD to regard stability-enhancing activities as a mission of importance equal to combat. In compliance with international law, DoD has necessarily built a capacity to improve essential services in areas of conflict such as Iraq, where the customary lead agencies (State Department and USAID) find it difficult to operate. Unlike the "co-option" strategy described for corporations, the OASD(HA) recognizes the neutrality of health as an essential service. International Health cultivates collaborative relationships with NGOs, albeit at arms-length, recognizing their traditional independence, expertise and honest broker status. While the goals of DoD and NGOs may seem incongruent, the DoD's emphasis on stability and security to reduce and prevent conflict suggests, on careful analysis, important mutual interests.


International non-governmental organizations have a history dating back to at least the late eighteenth century. It has been estimated that by 1914, there were 1083 NGOs.International NGOs were important in the anti-slavery movement and the movement for women's suffrage, and reached a peak at the time of the World Disarmament Conference. However, the phrase "non-governmental organization" only came into popular use with the establishment of the United Nations Organization in 1945 with provisions in Article 71 of Chapter 10 of the United Nations Charter for a consultative role for organizations which are neither governments nor member states—see Consultative Status. The definition of "international NGO" (INGO) is first given in resolution 288 (X) of ECOSOC on February 27, 1950: it is defined as "any international organization that is not founded by an international treaty". The vital role of NGOs and other "major groups" in sustainable development was recognized in Chapter 27 of Agenda 21, leading to intense arrangements for a consultative relationship between the United Nations and non-governmental organizations. It has been observed that the number of INGO founded or dissolved matches the general "state of the world", rising in periods of growth and declining in periods of crisis.

Rapid development of the non-governmental sector occurred in western countries as a result of the processes of restructuring of the welfare state. Further globalization of that process occurred after the fall of the communist system and was an important part of the Washington consensus.

Globalization during the 20th century gave rise to the importance of NGOs. Many problems could not be solved within a nation. International treaties and international organizations such as the World Trade Organization were centered mainly on the interests of capitalist enterprises. In an attempt to counterbalance this trend, NGOs have developed to emphasize humanitarian issues, developmental aid and sustainable development. A prominent example of this is the World Social Forum, which is a rival convention to the World Economic Forum held annually in January in Davos, Switzerland. The fifth World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in January 2005 was attended by representatives from more than 1,000 NGOs. In terms of environmental issues and sustainable development, the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 was the first to show the power of international NGOs, when about 2,400 representatives of NGOs came to play a central role in deliberations. Some have argued that in forums like these, NGOs take the place of what should belong to popular movements of the poor. Whatever the case, NGO transnational networking is now extensive.

Another issue which has brought NGOs to develop further is the inefficiency of some top-heavy, global structures. For instance, in 1994, former UN envoy to Somalia Mohamed Sahnoun published a book entitled "Somalia: The Missed Opportunities", in which he clearly shows that when the United Nations tried to provide humanitarian assistance, they were totally outperformed by NGOs, whose competence and dedication sharply contrasted with the United Nations' excessive caution and bureaucratic inefficiencies, their main Somalia envoys operating from the safety of their desks in Nairobi. The refusal of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, then UN Secretary General to accept this criticism led to the early end of Mohamed Sahnoun's mission in Somalia.

Legal status

The legal form of NGOs is diverse and depends upon homegrown variations in each country's laws and practices. However, four main family groups of NGOs can be found worldwide:

The Council of Europe in Strasbourg drafted the European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organizations in 1986, which sets a common legal basis for the existence and work of NGOs in Europe. Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights protects the right to freedom of association, which is also a fundamental norm for NGOs.

How NGOs Influence World Affairs

Some[ argue that NGOs have great influence and power in global affairs. Service-delivery NGOs provide public goods and services that governments from developing countries are unable to provide to society, due to lack of resources. Service-delivery NGOs can serve as contractors or collaborate with democratized government agencies to reduce cost associated with public goods. Capacity-building NGOs influence global affairs differently, in the sense that the incorporation of accountability measures in Southern NGOs affect "culture, structure, projects and daily operations." Advocacy and public education NGOs affect global affairs in its ability to modify behavior through the use of ideas. Communication is the weapon of choice used by advocacy and public-education NGOs in order to change people's actions and behaviors. They strategically construct messages to not only shape behavior, but to also socially mobilize communities in promoting social, political, or environmental changes.


Issa G. Shivji is one of Africa's leading experts on law and development issues as an author and academic. His critique on NGOs is found in two essays: "Silences in NGO discourse: The role and future of NGOs in Africa" and "Reflections on NGOs in Tanzania: What we are, what we are not and what we ought to be". Shivji argues that despite the good intentions of NGO leaders and activists, he is critical of the "objective effects of actions, regardless of their intentions". Shivji argues also that the sudden rise of NGOs are part of a neoliberal paradigm rather than pure altruistic motivations. He is critical of the current manifestations of NGOs wanting to change the world without understanding it, and that the imperial relationship continues today with the rise of NGOs.

James Pfeiffer, in his case study of NGO involvement in Mozambique, speaks to the negative effects that NGO's have had on areas of health within the country. He argues that over the last decade, NGO's in Mozambique have "fragmented the local health system, undermined local control of health programs, and contributed to growing local social inequality".

He notes further that NGO's can be uncoordinated, creating parallel projects among different organizations, that pull health service workers away from their routine duties in order to serve the interests of the NGO's. This ultimately undermines local primary health care efforts, and takes away the governments' ability to maintain agency over their own health sector. J. Pfeiffer suggested a new model of collaboration between the NGO and the DPS (the Mozambique Provincial Health Directorate). He mentioned the NGO should be 'formally held to standard and adherence within the host country', for example reduce 'showcase' projects and parallel programs that proves to be unsustainable.

Jessica Mathews wrote in Foreign Affairs in 1997: "For all their strengths, NGOs are special interests. The best of them … often suffer from tunnel vision, judging every public act by how it affects their particular interest". Since NGOs have to worry about policy trade-offs, the overall impact of their cause might bring more harm to society.

Vijay Prashad argues that from the 1970s "The World Bank, under Robert McNamara, championed the NGO as an alternative to the state, leaving intact global and regional relations of power and production."

Others argue that NGOs are often imperialist in nature, that they sometimes operate in a racialized manner in third world countries, and that they fulfill a similar function to that of the clergy during the high colonial era. The philosopher Peter Hallward argues that they are an aristocratic form of politics. He also points to the fact that NGOs like Action Aid and Christian Aid "effectively condoned the [2004 US backed] coup" against an elected government in Haiti and argues that they are the "humanitarian face of imperialism." Popular movements in the global South such as the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign in South Africa have sometimes refused to work with NGOs arguing that this will compromise their autonomy. It has also been argued that NGOs often disempower people by allowing funders to push for stability over social justice.

Another criticism of NGOs is that they are being designed and used as extensions of the normal foreign-policy instruments of certain Western countries and groups of countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin made this accusation at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy in 2007, concluding that these NGOs "are formally independent but they are purposefully financed and therefore under control." Also, Michael Bond wrote "Most large NGOs, such as Oxfam, the Red Cross, Cafod and Action Aid, are striving to make their aid provision more sustainable. But some, mostly in the US, are still exporting the ideologies of their backers."

NGOs have also been accused of using white lies or misinformed advise to enact their campaigns, i.e., accusations that NGOs have been ignorant about critical issues because, as chief scientist at Greenpeace Doug Parr said, these organizations appear to have lost their efforts in being truly scientific and now seem to be more self-interested. Rather than operating through science so as to be rationally and effectively practical, NGOs have been accused of abusing the utilization of science to gain their own advantages. In the beginning, as Parr indicated, there was "a tendency among our critics to say that science is the only decision-making tool … but political and commercial interests are using science as a cover for getting their way." At the same time, NGOs can appear to not be cooperative with other groups, according to the previous policy-maker for the German branch of Friends of the Earth, Jens Katjek. "If NGOs want the best for the environment, he says, they have to learn to compromise."

Challenges to legitimacy

The issue of the legitimacy of NGOs raises a series of important questions. This is one of the most important assets possessed by an NGO, it is gained through a perception that they are an “independent voice”. Their representation also emerges as an important question. Who bestows responsibilities to NGOs or INGOs and how do they gain the representation of citizens and civil society is still not scrutinized thoroughly. For instance, in the article, it is stated, "To put the point starkly: are the citizens of countries of the South and their needs represented in global civil society, or are citizens as well as their needs constructed by practices of representation? And when we realize that INGOs hardly ever come face to face with the people whose interests and problems they represent, or that they are not accountable to the people they represent, matters become even more troublesome."

Moreover, the legitimacy and the accountability of NGOs on the point of their true nature are also emerging as important issues. Various perceptions and images on NGOs are provided, and usually implemented in an image as 'non-state actors' or 'influential representatives of civil society that advocate the citizen.' Accountability may be able to provide this and also be able to assist activities by providing focus and direction As non-state actors with considerable influence over the governance in many areas, concerns have been expressed over the extent to which they represent the views of the public and the extent to which they allow the public to hold them to account.

The origin of funding can have serious implications for the legitimacy of NGOs. In recent decades NGOs have increased their numbers and range of activities to a level where they have become increasingly dependent on a limited number of donors. Consequently, competition has increased for funding, as have the expectations of the donors themselves. This runs the risk of donors adding conditions which can threaten the independence of NGOs; for example, an over-dependence on official aid has the potential to dilute “the willingness of NGOs to speak out on issues which are unpopular with governments”. In these situations NGOs are being held accountable by their donors, which can erode rather than enhance their legitimacy, a difficult challenge to overcome. Some commentators have also argued that the changes in NGO funding sources has ultimately altered their functions.

Corporate funding has also brought criticism. Joel Binda writes that corporations seek to partner with NGOs as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. This provides marketing and public relations benefits for businesses. These partnerships between corporations and NGOs allows corporations to claim some credit for the work of NGOs. Since NGOs receive funding from corporations, they may be reluctant to criticize corporations. In order to satisfy corporate donors and attract more funding, NGOs may tailor their activities to serve corporate interests. For example, by focusing on projects that look good to a corporation's consumers.

NGOs have also been challenged on the grounds that they do not necessarily represent the needs of the developing world, through diminishing the so-called “Southern Voice”. Some postulate that the North–South divide exists in the arena of NGOs. They question the equality of the relationships between Northern and Southern parts of the same NGOs as well as the relationships between Southern and Northern NGOs working in partnerships. This suggests a division of labour may develop, with the North taking the lead in advocacy and resource mobilisation whilst the South engages in service delivery in the developing world.The potential implications of this may mean the needs of the developing world are not addressed appropriately as Northern NGOs do not properly consult or participate in partnerships. The real danger in this situation is that western views may take the front seat and assign unrepresentative priorities.

The flood of NGOs has also been accused of damaging the public sector in multiple developing countries, e.g. accusations that NGO mismanagement has resulted in the breakdown of public health care systems. Instead of promoting equity and alleviating poverty, NGOs have been under scrutiny for contributing to socioeconomic inequality and disempowering services in the public sector of third world countries.

The scale and variety of activities in which NGOs participate has grown rapidly since the 1980s, witnessing particular expansion in the 1990s. This has presented NGOs with a need to balance the pressures of centralisation and decentralisation. By centralising NGOs, particularly those that operate at an international level, they can assign a common theme or set of goals. Conversely it may also be advantageous to decentralise as this can increase the chances of an NGO responding more flexibly and effectively to localised issues by implementing projects which are modest in scale, easily monitored, produce immediate benefits and where all involved know that corruption will be punished.

See also

Gasp! The Benefits Of Child Labor In The Developing World


This post is part of a year-end series by MBA students at California College of the Arts’Design MBA Program. Read more about our annual partnership here.

By Lindsay Melnick:

Child labor is a sensitive subject with a negative connotation in our society. While the topic of this article appears provocative, that is not my intention. I initially set forth to write an anti-child labor piece to promote awareness of the government mandated child labor issue in Uzbekistan. That country is the second-largest cotton exporter in the world and half of the country’s cotton harvest is said to come from child labor.

Why did this article take such a drastic turn? Because I found the reasoning behind the existence of child labor in modern day society a much more compelling and less touched upon topic that I believe needs to be acknowledged. As an apparel industry insider, I have experienced my fair share of factory travel. With each visit, the morality of the (behind the scenes) utilization of children in these factories has weighed heavily on my conscience.

If asked, most people in our society will tell you that they are dead set against the concept of child labor. They look disapprovingly at developing countries where young children perform manual labor for long hours when they should be in school learning. Yes, children should be in school. Yes, they should be out playing with friends and enjoying their childhood.

However, we do not live in a perfect world. Child labor is pervasive for the simple reason that impoverished households who cannot meet their basic needs may depend on the income of their children for survival. In many cases, these families are so poor that every member of their family needs to work. It is likely that these families cannot afford the cost of education for their children. Even when schooling is ostensibly ‘free’ studies have shown that parents incur other direct costs such as activity fees, uniforms, paper and pens, text books, transport, lunches and others which often result in the exclusion of poor children from school. I am stating the obvious to say that child labor creates a trade-off between labor and education. However, if their choice is either starving or going to school, isn’t survival the obvious choice?

While the majority of NGO’s work towards saving children from labor is seen as commendable, it has the potential to cause more harm than good. Foreign governments and organizations working toward making it illegal for these children to earn an honest income may in turn, force them down dangerous paths. It is common for homeless children or those without parents or adult supervision to be pushed into the sex trade or towards other criminal activities in order to earn money to survive. In this context, working in sweatshops is a far better solution.

The evils of child labor are as indisputable, as is its economic necessity. I believe that child labor has a place in the world economy. Those of us in the developed world need to foster empathy for the families who have to put their children to work in order to survive. Organizations should not be spending their time fighting to abolish child labor but rather work alongside it. They need to be realistic about the challenges these families face.

Work where child-laborers can still get an education is the answer. NGO’s should use their resources to provide schools in factories, so that for a few hours a day, the children can stop working and learn basic skills. In a daunting situation this would be a commendable solution, as it is after all tackling the real issue by being pragmatic and empathetic to why these children are working in the first place.

Education is broadly used as an instrument for social change and widely regarded as the route to economic prosperity. These children deserve the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty and education is a vehicle for achieving this objective.

hese articles were created as part of the course work for “Live Exchange” the foundational course on communication for The MBA Design Strategy Program at California College of the Arts. Read more about the project here.



A Canadian NGO has posted its shortcomings online in a bold attempt to learn from them and encourage others to do the same

planting rice

NGOs can learn from mistakes made in setting up projects.
Photograph: KK Arora/Reuters 

NGOs battle for media attention, devoting considerable effort and energy into getting that crucial eyeball contact. Usually that means making the message as stark and sensationalist as possible, with the implicit message that the NGO knows exactly how to sort out the problem – whether that is tax havens, Aids or educating 10-year-olds in Tanzania.

So I'm full of admiration for a Canadian NGO that is breaking all the rules by publishing a failure report. Engineers Without Borders has bravely catalogued various mistakes in its projects. Project officers come clean in a series of snapshots of what they did wrong . So Owen Scott confesses that he thought he knew exactly what was needed in Malawi, where he was working on a water project. He secured the funding and got it sorted: an updated survey. But it only postponed the problem, which was that the district government didn't have the money to regularly update the survey. Scott admitted "prioritising tangible activities" and effectively using money as bribery.

Another project officer, in Ghana, confesses that she had a "humbling realisation" when she saw that she was just adding to the existing problem.

While working in a project in Zambia, Mark Hemsworth thought his task to support local enterprise was straightforward – a carpentry business needed a planing machine. He supplied the machine but it was badly damaged when fitted. Like plenty of unused machinery lying around rural Zamiba, parts and repairs were hugely difficult to arrange.

This is brave stuff. Anyone who has ever worked in aid projects will recognise all of it. The confidence with which aid workers can think they know what they are doing, plunge in and make countless mistakes. But this is the knowledge that NGOs keep well clear of their marketing departments. It's an ugly dishonesty that runs through almost all aid work, a painful underbelly to the very obvious idealism and good intentions.

Engineers Without Borders is boldly suggesting that we learn from failure, and by putting itself on the line, it is hoping to encourage plenty of other NGOs to do the same. It has set up a website and has already got promises from three NGOs to share their failures over the next week. The idea is to kickstart a more honest conversation with the public (who, after all, provide a lot of NGO funding) about what their money is doing.

In his contribution to the report, a long time development worker, Ian Smillie, points out that "development enterprise is notoriously risk averse; donors demand results and punish failure". Other experts argue that monitoring and evaluation is often so inadequate, that we simply don't know what works.

The current trends in UK and US aid agencies is to insist on value for money and clear evidence of results. So here is a counterblast which says that we must recognise the truth of that old proverb, that we can learn from our mistakes. But it's risky. What happens when an aid sceptic such as Bill Easterly starts using these cameos of aid failure to buttress their arguments? This innovative approach could provide fuel for the increasingly powerful anti-aid lobby.

On balance, it's probably a risk worth taking. A more grown-up conversation about NGOs and their work is overdue. BBC Radio 4's Ed Stourton did a very thought-provoking programme last week, arguing that "the aid sector is facing a crisis of identity" over its impact and effectiveness. In 60 years of aid, it hasn't delivered what people expected, he said. A range of interviewees pointed out how NGOs have grown into bureaucratic organisations that are often very distant from the people they claim to be empowering. Many have "internalised the logic of the marketplace", keen to get their hands on as much money as possible, creating tensions with their ethical commitments. One of the interviewees was Linda Polman, whose excellent book War Games raises many of these issues, and in particular shows how the media and NGOs use one another – and in the process often disastrously distort the reality on the ground.

So are we ready for a grown-up conversation about what NGOs do? Are they the force for good portrayed in their marketing? Or are we all colluding in wanting to believe their wild promises … saving babies' lives for a fiver?


NGO leaders learn how to influence social policies to benefit children

A training workshop on 'Public Policy and Advocacy' for the Alliance of Active NGO's in the field of child and family social protection (APSCF) was organized in Chisinau. The event was held by Expert-Grup with the support of UNICEF Moldova and the Government of Sweden.

February 5, 2015 The policy cycle, cost assessment, impact measurement, and use of data to influence social policies – theseare some of the key topics covered in the workshop 'Public Policyand Advocacy', organized on 5-6 February 2015 in Chisinau. The training gathered 20 non-governmental organizations, in particular NGO’s and opinion leaders in the field of child and family protection, from Chisinau and other districts of the country.

The event was attended by Nune Mangasaryan, UNICEF Representative in Moldovaband Henrik Huitfeldt, Counsellor/Head of Reform Cooperation, from the Embassy of Sweden.

"Moldova is undergoing a number of reforms for improving the lives of children and their families. However, there are many inequities affecting children’s well being. It is important that all children benefit from there forms, while civil society’s voice is very strong in this process," saidUNICEF Representative in Moldova.

 “Civil society is a key actor in promoting public policies and plays a key role in every democratic society”, Henrik Huitfeldt from the Embassy of Swedensaid. “ NGOs need to be strong enough to influence public policies. This is even more relevant for social policies for the protection of children and families”.

Stela Vasluian, President of APSCF, added that NGOs want to be an important dialogue partner for decision makers and their voice to be heard. "By 2020 we want to ensure that 0 children live in residential institutions, all children with special needs are enrolle din education and more investments are made in capacity building of the specialists to have an effective child protection system".

APSCF brings together 89 non-governmental organizations throughout the country, including Transnistrian region and Gagauzia. Among the organizations participating at the workshop were "Partnerships for Every Child", "CCF Moldova", "Child Rights Information and Documentation Centre", "National Centre for Child  Abuse Prevention, “Ave Copiii", and others.

The workshop was organized with the support of UNICEF Moldova within a partnership project between UNICEF, Parliament and Expert-Grup, to promote evidence-based policies, as part of the program "Parliament & Democracy", funded by the Swedish Government.


For further contact:

Irina Lipcanu, Press Officer, UNICEF Moldova; Tel. 269-235;

Constanța Popescu, Programme Director, Expert-Grup;;

List of children's rights organizations

This is a list of children's rights organizations by country.


'Children's rights organizations listed by country
Country Name Notes
Australia ChilOut
Bangladesh Phulkuri Ashar
Bangladesh Child Parliament, Bangladesh (Advocacy wing of NCTF, Bangladesh)
Canada Child Welfare League of Canada
Colombia Pies Descalzos Foundation
Germany Deutscher Kinderschutzbund
Germany Kinderstern
Hong Kong Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism
International(Global) Wrists4Rights
Iran Stop Child Executions Campaign
Israel Israel National Council for the Child [2][3][4][5]
Pakistan Children Parliament Pakistan
South Africa Children's Rights Project, UWC
Sweden Children First Now
Switzerland Defence for Children International
Switzerland Terre des hommes
Tanzania Mkombozi
Thailand Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities
Thailand ECPAT
Thailand Child Watch Phuket
Thailand Fight Against Child Exploitation
Nepal Sano Sansar Initiative
The Netherlands KidsRights Foundation
United Kingdom Children's Rights Alliance for England
United Kingdom Action on Rights for Children
United Kingdom Child Rights Information Network
United Kingdom Save the Children
United Kingdom National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
India Spreading Smiles Through Education
United States Children's Defense Fund
United States Children's Rights Council
United States Doctors Opposing Circumcision
United States First Focus
United States Intact America
United States The Global Fund for Children
United States National Safe Place
United States NOCIRC
United States Stand for Children
United States Child advocacy 360
United States Voices for America's Children
United States Distressed Children & Infants International
Child Workers in Asia
International Falcon Movement
Watchlist (NGO)
RWANDA Ineza For Children Rwanda

List of United Nations Agencies, Programmes, NGOs and Foundations working on Contemporary Forms of Slavery

All contemporary forms of slavery

Amnesty International

Human Rights Watch

Derechos Human Rights

Front Line, The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Human Rights Internet

Human Rights Network International database

Human Rights Resource Center

Human Rights Web

New Internationalist


Anti-slavery society

American Anti-Slavery Group (ASSG)

Free the Slaves

Save a slave

The Wyndham Charitable Trust

Polaris Project

Committee Against Modern Slavery

SOS Esclaves Mauritania

Trafficking and sexual slavery

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime:

The emancipation Network

Coalition against Trafficking in Women

Project to end Human Trafficking

People Against Trafficking Humans

Ban-Ying (Germany)

Bangladesh National Women Lawyer’s Association

Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women

Global Rights, Initiative Against Trafficking in Persons

Human Trafficking Search (National Multicultural Institute)

International Organization for Migration, Prevention of Trafficking in Women in the Baltic States project

La Strada International

Perm Center Against Violence and Human Trafficking (Russia)

Stop Albanian Slavery

The Barnaba Institute

Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking

Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition

Shared Hope International


Action to End Exploitation

Protection Project

Forced labour and migrant exploitation

International Labor Organisation

International Labor Rights Fund

International Organization for Migration

Kalayaan – Justice for migrant workers

Matahari Eye of the Day

Global Workers Justice Alliance

Human Rights for workers

Irish Congress of Trade Unions

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions


Trades Union Congress UK

Instituto Sindicale per la Cooperazione et lo Sviluppo

Coalition of Labor Union Women

International Organization of Employers

World Confederation of Labour

Children (forced labour and sexual slavery


International Initiative to End Child Labor

ECPAT International (child prostitution and trafficking of children for sexual purposes)

Justice for Children International

Save the children

Child Labor Coalition

World Tourism Organization – Task to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism

South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude

Child Rights Information Network

Action Against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children (ALTEN)

Association pour la lutte Contre le Travail des Enfants au Niger (ALTEN)

Butterflies Programme for Street and Working Children (India)

Casa Alianza Latina America

Casa Alianza UK

Child Labour Awareness

Child Rights Information Network

Child Workers in Asia

Child Workers in Nepal

Child Watch

Concerned for Working Children

Free the Children

Free the Children India

Global March Against Child Labour

HAQ: Centre for Child Rights and Campaign to Stop Child Labour

International Federation of Free Trade Unions (Child labour section)

ILO – International Programme of the Elimination of Child Labour

Child Trafficking Digital Library

World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

The World Bank- Child Labour

Understanding Children’s Work: An inter-agency research cooperation project on child labour

ECLT Foundation – addressing the challenge of child labour in tobacco growing

World Congress against Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)

RugMark Foundation

A list of 20 Foundations Supporting Projects on Children

July 25, 2014 By 

Millions of children around the world are born into a stark reality: will they work in markets and mines, or go to school? Will they be trafficked into slavery, or be free? Will they be child soldiers, or students? Many children grow up in a daily life marked by violence; the images of war, abuse, persecution and loss of family. These traumatized children suffer depression, nightmares, loss of self-worth and often are the source of future aggression. Each year an estimated 15 million children die of hunger.

All children around the globe, no matter where they come from, have the rights to education, rights to health, rights to nutritive diet, rights to water, rights to care, and all other rights associated to human. The children who have the access to their rights grow as an independent individual who can break through the cycle of poverty be empowered to take their future into their own hands and play an active part in shaping it.

There are 800+ grant giving foundations supporting the projects on Child Rights in our donor database. If you are an organization focusing on any sector of Child Rights, be benefited with this list of 20 Foundations supporting Projects on Children.

The Global Fund for Children

The Global Fund for Children (GFC) invests in undercapitalized organizations that provide critical services to vulnerable children. The Fund finds and supports grassroots organizations worldwide to transform the lives of children on the edges of society – trafficked children, refugees, child laborers – and help them regain their rights and pursue their dreams.  Primary goal of the Fund is to invest early, help the partner organizations increase capacity, and leave them bigger and stronger than before. It also provides management assistance, capacity building, networking opportunities, and additional strengthening services for the lasting change.

The Global Fund for Children has supported 9 million children so far. The impact is thousands of children are going to school instead of to work; thousands more protecting themselves from HIV, escaping the bonds of slavery, and getting the childhood they deserve.

Grant applications generally fall between $25,000 and $75,000 range.

Areas of Interest

  1. Education – primary education, vocational education
  3. Disability
  4. Youth & Adolescents

Focus  Regions

East and South East Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and NorthAfrica, North America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Eligibility Criteria

How to Apply for Grant?

For more details about this Foundation, including contact information, you can download the PDF version if you are a fundsforNGOs Premium Member. Not a Premium Member? Click here to learn the amazing benefits of fundsforNGOs Premium Membership.



Non-governmental Organizations

Child Rights Foundation
Child Rights Foundation (CRF) is a local Cambodian, child-focused, non-profit, non political and non-religious non-governmental organization.

Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Precaire (AFESIP)
AFESIP is a non-governmental, non-partisan, and non-religious organization established at the grass-root level in Cambodia in 1996.

Cambodian Bar Association (CBA)
Created with the assistance of the University of San Francisco School of Law program, the Cambodian Bar Association assists persons within Cambodia in becoming skilled human rights lawyers and advocates.

Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children's Rights (CCPCR)
The Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children's Rights (CCPCR) was established as a local, non-governmental organization in 1994, with its main goal to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC).

Cambodian Defenders Project (CDP)
The Cambodian Defenders Project (CDP) was established in 1994 in Cambodia as a project of the International Human Rights Law Group (based in the United States, now called Global Rights) as an international non-governmental organization.

Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)
The purpose of ADHOC's Women's Rights program is to provide knowledge on women's rights to both women and men, so that they may regard women's rights as human rights and be aware of women's rights violations.

Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)
The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) working to promote and defend human rights in Cambodia.

Cambodian National Project Against Trafficking in Women and Children
Monitors general operations of local and international NGOs and IGOs directly involved with human trafficking issues and assesses fiscal needs of these organizations for UN funding.

Cambodian Women's Crisis Centre (CWCC)
The Cambodian Women's Crisis Center (CWCC), a non-profit organization, was established in March 1997.

Cambodian Women's Development Association (CWDA)
The Cambodian Women's Development Association (CWDA) is an indigenous, non-profit, non-government organisation with no religious or political affiliations but a strong feminist agenda.

Coalition to Address Sexual Exploitation of Children in Cambodia (COSECAM)
COSECAM was established in 2001.

Digital Divide Data
When women are rescued from brothels they have almost no career possibilities. Digital Divide Data (DDD) believes that they can give victims of trafficking and/or prostitutes an opportunity to make a new life for themselves and gain the self confidence of which they had been robbed through a Sex Trafficked Women's Program.

Goutte D'eau (Damnok Toek)
The activities in Neak Loeung include: A 24 hour children's shelter for abused and neglected children located at the ferry terminal for children on their way to Phnom Penh.

Hagar focuses its efforts on assisting the women and children in Cambodia who are dealing with serious crises in their lives, as well as those who are the most vulnerable and at risk.

Healthcare Center for Children
Healthcare Center for Children (HCC) deters women and children from seeking assistance from traffickers by supplying healthcare, educational support, social and economic development, technical support, training, and advocacy for children and young women in Cambodia.

Khmer Women's Voice Center (KWVC)
The Khmer Women's Voice Center (KWVC) emerged from the Cambodian Women's Committee for Non-violence and The Elections (CWCNVE) which promoted women's participation in the 1993 elections process.

Legal Aid of Cambodia (LAC)
Legal Aid of Cambodia (LAC) is a non-profit, non-governmental Khmer-administered association of lawyers dedicated to serving the legal needs of Cambodia's poor in all types of civil and criminal matters.

Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW)
LSCW aims to prevent and eliminate all forms of human trafficking and abuse as well as discrimination of children and women in Cambodia.  LSCW is committed to legally protecting, assisting and supporting all persons trafficked, abused, including Cambodian migrant workers in destination countries, through existing legal mechanisms, and to gain recognition of and respect for their rights.  Goal:  For vulnerable groups to enjoy increased access to justice and basic human rights through transparent legal mechanisms.

Mith Samlanh / Friends
Mith Samlanh / Friends assists homeless and vulnerable street children and adolescents, including their families, who are at high risk of exploitation and physical and emotional abuse, especially through forced commercial sex and violence in the streets.

NGO Committee on the Rights of the Child (NGOCRC)
The NGO Committee on the Rights of the Child (NGOCRC) is a coalition of national and international non-government organizations (NGOs) working together to advocate for the rights of children and monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Cambodia (CRC).

NYEMO Cambodia Organization
NYEMO Cambodia Organization is a Cambodian non-governmental organization established in early 1998, which works to improve the quality of life of vulnerable women and their children by strengthening and empowering them with the partnership of all stakeholders in the society.

Protection of Juvenile Justice (PJJ)
The Protection of Juvenile Justice (PJJ) was established and officially recognized on 5 May 2001 by the Council of Ministers and Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Cambodia.  The Protection of Juvenile Justice (PJJ) provides legal assistance, legal training, research and child rehabilitation for children and their families who have suffered from exploitation.

SABORAS is a Cambodian Non-Governmental Organization (CNGO), a grass-roots, non-profit and non-political agency implementing development activities throughout Cambodia.


Chab Dai Coalition
Chab Dai (Joining Hands) is a coalition of Christian Organizations committed to ending sexual abuse and trafficking.