Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are organisations that have not been set up by agreements between governments, and are principally independent from any government agenda. The World Bank defines an NGO as:
an organisation that pursues activities to relieve suffering, and/or promote the interests of the poor, and/or protect the environment, and/or provide basic social services and/or undertake community development.
International non-governmental organisations (INGOs) are similar to national non-governmental organisations (NNGOs), but have offices and programmes around the world to work in many different countries in accordance with their specific expertise and capacity.
In accordance with Article 71 of the United Nations Charter, NGOs can have consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC). As such they are increasingly involved in international policymaking as partners of the UN.
Many International NGOs (INGOs) apply for funding for specific programmes from foreign government departments responsible for humanitarian and development assistance, such as the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Canada’s International Development Agency (CIDA), and from UN agencies. INGOs also have funding raised through voluntary corporate, public, and private donations.
INGOs work closely in partnership with communities, national and local authorities, UN agencies, national NGOs and other relevant stakeholders. These partnerships are vital to working effectively in challenging environments as well as to coordinating approaches and work.
Read more about the work of NGOs in Pakistan.