Sociología y Trabajo Social

Igualdad y desarrollo # Equality and development



According to the typology of the United Nations, the NGOs can pursue any objective of interest general. We will dedicate ourselves only to the part of the volunteered, within the called 'third sector' and centred in the fight against the sub development and the inequality. But the problem is that today it is difficult to differentiate this group. That it is going to be the task of this essay. We will try to see the distinct strategies that follow these NGOs. Also will see the evolution of the voluntary movement of the last decades, and as such changes explain us among the NGOs at present.


The NGOs were born under the protection of the western Churches and are used to dedicating to the charity. An exception was the foundation of the Red Cross in 1864. It went but late when some groups laics organized projects to help to the poor countries in its development (imitating to the religious missions). The cooperation and the assistance character are the characteristics but acquaintances of the action of the NGOs. We are speaking of a movement that, until the 70s decade arrived, it was never questioned the system generator of the poverty and exclusion. *

However, this repairing action has been very effectiveness in the local development. The governments work to greater scale and of continued form, but do not obtain the impact desired. None of the two it seems to reach the objective of the efficacy to great scale.


As of the seventies, many NGOs are presented a new one goal: the scaling up. This term refers 'increasing impact' and does not imply the increase of the size of the operations of the NGOs. It means that NGOs cannot bring about development in isolation. They should get into the national and international political process. There are different ways but all of them must seek positive external linkages with others actors in the development process.

Thomas Carroll revealed the clear relationship between the quality of an NGO external linkages and its impact on development in a research. *

The main ways of scaling up are:

  • Through working with government. Usually the largest problem is the wide different between the working way of a NGO and whatever government.

  • Trough operational expansion. The decentralisation of decision-making must accompany growth and NGOs should avoid becoming public-service contractors.

  • Trough lobbying and advocacy. A key issue could how to balance programme work with influencing. Another would be whether NGOs should seek to influence symptoms or causes, programme design or underlying ideology.

  • Through supporting local level initiative. If a NGO support strategies of social mobilisation and empowerment, normally the organization forgets welfare.


We can understand that currently globalisation is the combination of technology and power globalization. * Many intellectuals and organizations carry three decades accusing to multinationals corporations, multilateral economics institutions and lobbies of being the guilty of the poverty and the inequality. Each day seems stronger the struggle against the neoliberal globalization. An example could be the 350000 voices shouting 'another world is possible' in Barcelona in 2002.

Many NGOs of aid to the development have taken part in the fight antiglobalization. Is a form to remember to governments and large institutions that the development is one of its responsibilities. So if the 'free market' becomes to higher poverty levels, perhaps it would be necessary to change the rules of the play. The problem is that it does not be shown the legitimating of the antiglobalization. On the other there are even in the most free and democratic societies, for instance the United States, issues like 'thinks that our world needs' are kept from the general public. And according to Noam Chomsky* it would be misunderstanding to say that on these issues, there exist 'elected governments.'


Already we have seen as different types of NGOs have been created with the course of the years. The organizations of charity and missions went before that the ONGs for the development, what really are laics and less hierarchical. The need to act upon the politics and economics relations carried to the scaling up. And the desire to change the model of development did that many NGOs to join with the antiglobalization movement. There are other possible classifications for NGOs. From the antiglobalization perspective, James Petras* divides NGOs in three groups. They tend to coincide with their levels of funding:

  • Active promoters of neoliberalism. They are `institutionalists', therefore depend on financial international agencies and states, as USAID and World Bank. They are millionaires NGOs in whom the neoliberal globalisation is supported: Foster Parent Plan that collects 300 million dollars per year), MISEREOR (214 million dollars per year), World Vision (500 million) and others.

  • Reformist. They would like to correct the excesses of the free market, reform IMF, WTO and World Bank, regulate the capital movement, etc. They receive middle range funding from social-democratic foundations and progressive local or regional governments to fund development projects. Also we would be able to include here the Christian groups by its reformist will.

  • Radical. Their ideologies do them to depend on the contributions of its associates (when are legally constituted). It is of great interest to differentiate them for its objectives, alternatives and tactical. Its objectives can be: the struggle against the capital speculative, anti racism, antiglobalization and anticapitalist. The alternatives to the dominant model are libertarian ideas with roots in the radical left, the deep ecology, etc. And what more appears in the news: the different tactics. Starting from demonstrations, conferences, etc. we arrive at methods that distinguish to the radical NGOs: civil disobedience and direct action (peaceful or violent). These organizations believe that basic structural changes from below -redistributing power, property, and income- is necessary to achieve sustainable development and social justice.

The confrontation between neoliberal NGOs and the antiglobalization movement is evident. Also exists confrontation among the radical NGOs that use the violent action and the ones that reject it.


We have seen as distinct voluntary movements have appeared in the last decades. The ideology, the strategies and objectives to medium time limit are very distinct but the last goal is the same: the sustainable development and the equality. I think that so much the projects of aid and development, as the fight antiglobalization, are answers to a same problem. The projects help to fight the poverty and the

sub development to short-term and local level. The scaling up finds too many problems for its realization. And by last, the antiglobalization struggle can help to that in the future we obtain a model of development but just.


Tavazza, L. (1995) Innovacion y reglamentacion en la politica social. La solidaridad dentro de un sistema complejo, within VVAA, El voluntariado, Fundacion Bancaixa, Valencia.

Edwards, M. & Hulme, D. (1992) Making a difference. NGOS and development in a changing world, Save the Children & Earthscan Publications Ltd, London.

Carroll, T. (1993) Intermediary NGOs, Kumarian Press, Connecticut.

Marcuse, P. (2000) The Language of Globalization, Monthly Review.

Chomsky, N. (2002) Interviewing Chomsky-Preparatory to Porto Alegre; available at

Petras, J. (2001) Non-governmental organizations in a conjuncture of conflict and war psicosis; available at

Enviado por:Paketin
Idioma: inglés
País: España

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