In a nutshell: NGO

NGO stands for ‘non-governmental organisation’.

It is a not for profit organisation, typically addressing a social or political issue. Some operate across borders e.g. Oxfam International.

Some are local and registered within the country in which they operate.

Importantly, their independence of any government enables them to freely challenge government policies for the ‘good of the people’. 

However, NGOs can receive income in a variety of ways and, for some, this includes government funding.

Some would say that this calls the neutrality of such NGOs into question but they retain their non-governmental status by prohibiting government representatives from membership.

Governments will not always look on NGOs favourably despite the good work they do. They can be seen as undermining the authorities. Some of WDR’s partner are indigenous NGOs.