Ethical Questions and International NGOs

An exchange between Philosophers and NGOs

  • Keith Horton
  • Chris Roche
  • Keith Horton
  • Chris Roche

Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 23)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Keith Horton, Chris Roche
    Pages 1-12
  3. Peter Ellis
    Pages 65-85
  4. Keith Horton
    Pages 87-118
  5. Chris Roche
    Pages 119-146
  6. Jamie Isbister
    Pages 147-156
  7. Garrett Cullity
    Pages 157-173
  8. Keith Horton, Chris Roche
    Pages 217-229
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 231-241

About this book


In recent decades there has been a great expansion in the number, size and influence of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) involved in international relief and development. These changes have led to increased scrutiny of such organisations, and this scrutiny, together with increasing reflection by INGOs themselves and their staff on their own practice, has helped to highlight a number of pressing ethical questions such organisations face, such as: should INGOs attempt to provide emergency assistance even when doing so risks helping to fuel further conflict? How should INGOs manage any differences between their values and those of the people they seek to benefit? How open and honest should INGOs be about their own uncertainties and failures?

This book consists of sustained reflections on such questions. It derives from a workshop held at Melbourne University in July 2007 that brought together a group of people – for the most part, reflective practitioners and moral and political philosophers – to discuss such questions. It explores honestly some of the current challenges and dilemmas that INGOs face, and also suggests some new ideas for meeting these challenges. Our hope is that the kind of explicit reflection on the ethical issues INGOs face exemplified in this publication will help to promote a wider debate about these issues, a debate that in turn will help INGO managers and others to make better, wiser, more ethically informed decisions.


NGO NGOs aid agencies emergency assistance ethics human rights humanitarian relief morality non-governmental organisations

Authors and affiliations

  • Keith Horton
    • 1
  • Chris Roche
    • 2
  1. 1.Fac. Arts School of English LiteraturesUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.Oxfam AustraliaCarltonAustralia

Editors and affiliations

  • Keith Horton
    • 1
  • Chris Roche
    • 2
  1. 1.Fac. Arts, School of English Literatures,University of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.Oxfam AustraliaCarltonAustralia

Bibliographic information