The prevalence of NGOs is often considered as a sign of well-functioning civil society. Discuss the role and impact of NGOs in capacity building of a nation?

The prevalence of NGOs is often considered as a sign of well-functioning civil society. Discuss the role and impact of NGOs in capacity building of a nation?
Approach :
  • Briefly introduce with what are NGOs.
  • Explain the various roles played by NGOs.
  • Their impacts on the capacity building of the nation.
  • Conclude Appropriately.
Model Answer :
An Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) is a group, organisation, non-profit establishment of individuals, activists, voluntary and social persons who are working or associated for social welfare and social development. As NGOs are expected to contribute to democracy in developing countries and build democratic aid structures, their presence is considered as a sign of well-functioning civil society.
Roles played by NGOs in capacity building:
  1. At Individual level- NGOs help individuals in building their capacity by providing public services like education, food, education etc. Example- Akshay Patra foundation provides mid-day meals in the schools; CARE India works for empowering Indian women.
  2. At community level- They empower the community in number of ways like grievance redressal, by explaining the provisions of various laws and policies, by taking their issues and problems with the government etc. Example- NGOs help people conduct social audits of NREGA works.
  3. At institutional level- NGOs help the government in understanding the ground realities of various issues and also in monitoring the implementation of Government schemes at ground level. Thus help in capacity building of the institutions or agencies. Example- Public hearing panels often have no clue on the scope of their role in environmental clearance process, and NGOs aid them in understanding the issues.
Besides, larger NGOs also help strengthen other smaller NGOs by providing them skill training and organisational support. For example, NGOs like Oxfam support many local NGOs in India.
Impact of NGOs:
  • NGOs have played an important role in aiding improvements in the income and consumption levels of the poor.
  • Various environment conservation and wildlife conservation initiatives have become successful due to active participation of NGOs. Ex- Narmada Bachao Andolan.
  • From providing direct benefit (like distributing nutrition feed to malnourished children) to enabling and empowering people (like making a community realise the importance of sending their children to school), NGOs have helped the underprivileged and deprived people march ahead in life.
Recently a lot of questions were raised regarding their auditing, reporting, involvement in anti-development activities etc. So, for effective functioning of NGOs, various steps like drafting of a comprehensive model legislation, ethical education and training etc. as recommended by 2nd ARC need to be implemented.

Subjects : Develop Sector

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