NGOs: do they really help?

NI 478-01-coverThe main section of this month’s New Internationalist opens up the existential issue of whether NGOs (and in particular international development NGOs) are now doing more harm than good around the world. The theme is an increasingly common one in blogs, magazines and academic journals from all sides – which surely makes it all the more important that it is taken seriously.

The keynote article presents a measured balance sheet of the contributions made and the damage done by INGOs, while my piece on the return of the worst forms of fundraising imagery will be familiar to those already following the debate on these pages over the past year. For those who have subscriptions to the hard copy magazine, there are critical pieces on the corporate collaborations of INGOs such as Oxfam and Save the Children, a look at WWF and ‘green imperialism’, an overview of NGOs in India, plus a response from MSF to earlier criticism of their work fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone.

There is also a handy 10-point checklist of things to consider when you are thinking of supporting an NGO, including number 9: “Can its vision and practice be seen as promoting justice and opposed to the neoliberal worldview?”


About John Hilary

Executive Director at War on Want
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