The non governmental organisation (NGO) is a voluntary group of individuals or organisations. They are usually not affiliated with any government and are formed to provide services or to advocate a public policy. Although some NGOs are profit-making corporations, the vast majority are non-profit organisations.
Some NGOs, particularly based in countries which lack civil liberties such as freedom of religion or with the Communist government are created and controlled by governments. By most definitions, political parties and criminal or violent guerrilla organisations are not considered NGOs. The issues addressed by NGOs are related to human concerns, for example, human rights, environmental protection, disaster relief, and development assistance and the scope of their activities may be local, national, or international.
Some NGOs fulfil quasi-governmental functions for ethnic groups which lack a state of their own. NGOs are run with the help of donations from private donations, international organizations, governments, or a combination of these.
According to a survey Russia had about 277,000 NGOs in 2008 and India is estimated to have had 2 million NGOs in 2009, that is one NGO for approximately 600 Indians, which is much more than the number of the country’s primary schools and health centres. Sometimes term NGO is used inconsistently; it is sometimes a synonym for a civil society organization, any association founded by citizens.
NGO in most of the countries are non-profit organizations, and political parties and trade unions. NGOs are mostly classified by orientation and level of operation where orientation stands for the type of activities an NGO undertakes. This level of orientation shows at which scale an organization works at that is at local, regional, national, or international levels.
NGOs are a part of our society for centuries now. It is traced back to at least the late 18th century. There were estimates that in 1914 1,083 NGOs were working. Most of the International NGOs were formed to fight against social evils like slavery and women women’s suffrage movements. This peaked at the time of the World Disarmament Conference which happened between 1932-1934. The non-government first came into existence with the founding of United Nation back in 1945 which belonged to neither governments nor member states. Definition to NGO was given for the first time by United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on 27th February 1950 as “any international organization that is not founded by an international treaty”. The rise and fall of NGOs are usually connected with growth and crises of the economy it is in.
NGOs are influential in the society, they exert their power on the policies and programs of governments by observing or participating in the meetings in which norms, principles, treaties, and conventions are negotiated, disputes settled, and resources allocated. These organizations are influential because of their expertise and their access to important sources of information, which results in a significant contribution to development aid and humanitarian relief. But in some cases having huge number of NGOs hinders the development due to diversity and lack of coordination.