Evolving Roles of NGOs in Developing Countries
Expanding on the governance focus on the emergence of civil society institutions, this chapter examines the evolution of the theories and doctrines that have guided NGOs operating in developing countries and how, in light of this evolution, NGO practices have themselves evolved. The roles and influences of NGOs have increased considerably since the end of WWII. Their sheer number is huge and probably still growing, but what that number might be is basically unknown and probably even unknowable (Salamon, Sokolowski, and Associates 2004, 15–17). Despite the confusing terminology of nongovernmental organization, nonprofit organization, private voluntary organization, etc., it is clear that entities that are not part of government, business firms, or families number well above fifty thousand. For the purpose of this chapter, it is useful to confine our definition and inquiry to such organizations that are ostensibly dedicated to serving the public good in some way. Therefore, labor unions, business groups, and grassroots organizations that unite people explicitly to pursue their own interests are not within the purview of this chapter.
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