The role of NGOs in humanitarian aid and development cooperation
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The role of NGOs in humanitarian aid and development cooperation Ivana Raslavská. NGOs. NGOs were not founded to gain profit. (However, they have paid employees and their activities can make profit. This profit is never used to pay employees or management)

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The role of NGOs in humanitarian aid and development cooperation Ivana Raslavská

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The role of NGOs in humanitarian aid and development cooperation

Ivana Raslavská


  • NGOs were not founded to gain profit. (However, they have paid employees and their activities can make profit. This profit is never used to pay employees or management)

  • NGOs have specific formal and institutional background. (Typically they have formal statute which defines their mission, objectives and field of activities. Generally they account for their work to the members and donators)

  • NGOs are independent(usually from state and other public institutions, political parties or commercial organisations)

  • NGOs are not providing activities for their own objectives and values. (The aim is to search for needs in the society and solve problems with specific marginalised groups of people.)

How do we distinguish NGOs

  • Size and range of activities

  • number of employees

  • focus

  • Type of activities

  • NGOs as fast providers of social services

  • NGOs as advocacy providers – influence on public opinion and policy makers

Main role of NGOs

  • Support to participatory democracy

  • Representation of specific groups of people in relation to state and international organisations

  • Contribution to policy making

  • Contribution to project coordination

Comparative advantages of NGOs

  • NGOs are active in specific types of project, where no other sector is interested to operate, e.g. education, democratisation, civil society, capacity building – danger of substitution

  • NGOs operate directly in the field – often in difficult conditions, and culturally different environment

  • NGOs develop partnerships in developing countries and build capacities and civil society in developing country

  • NGOs contribute to development and professionalisation of development cooperation, e.g. code of conduct, audits, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation methods...

Financial sources of NGOs

  • State budget – MFA SR – SlovakAid

  • Private donors – individuals and private companies

  • International organisations and institutions – EC, UNDP, etc.

  • Institutions abroad – NED (National Endowment for Democracy), embassies

  • Membership fees

How to get funding?

  • Project proposals for grant calls

  • individually

  • in partnership

  • Private fundraising

  • Public collections

  • humanitarian purposes (Burma, Sri Lanka)

  • development projects (Dobrá novina)

Humanitarian aid

  • Humanitarian aid

  • Humanitarian assistance

  • Humanitarian intervention

  • Relief aid

  • Emergency and distress aid

Material or logistic assistance provided during humanitarian crisis.

Main objective of humanitarian aid isrescue lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity.

History of humanitarian aid

  • after WWII – civil wars, IDPs and refugees

  • Discourse about human rights (Eleanor Roosevelt) - 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

  • Help to the victims in Biafra (Nowadays Nigeria, (1969)

History of humanitarian aid II

  • cold war – political influence

  • Refugees in Europe – caught attention of developed states

  • Celebrities (Bono, Bob Geldof and Bandaid, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie...)

  • Public awareness „humanitarian consciousness“

Humanitarian aid principles

  • „Impartiality“ – all civilians should be helped without bias and prejudices

  • „Neutrality“ – take no side in conflict and strictly distinguish between civilians and soldiers

  • „Independence“ – independent from all political agendas

Which humanitarian projects are provided in developing countries?

  • Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion

  • Food aid/distribution

  • Material aid

  • Health

  • Shelter

  • Cash for work

NGOs and humanitarian aid

  • Foundation of significant NGOs:

  • International Red Cross (ICRC 1859) humanitarian law

  • Save the Children (WWII)

  • Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere (CARE 1945)

  • Oxfam (1949)

    Impartial humanitarian aid

  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF 1968) - activists B. Couchner, F. Cuny

    Against „non-intervention“

NGOs and humanitarian aid

  • Donors in humanitarian aid can not mobilize the sources when needed – they rely on NGOs

  • Acceptation of NGO work in humanitarian aid:

  • „humanitarian corridors“ or „corridors of tranquillity“

  • „safe heavens“ or „no-fly zones“

  • NGOs play significant role in civil war regions where UN agencies do not have access, however UN agencies are able to cover widespread and complicated crises by huge amount of money at one time

  • needs oriented humanitarian aid vs. rights oriented humanitarian aid

What is SPHERE project?

  • Sphere is 3 things:

  • A handbook

  • A broad process of collaboration

  • An expression of commitment to quality and accountability

  • Sphere is based on 2 core values:

    - All possible steps should be taken to alleviate human suffering arising out of calamity or conflict

  • Those affected by disasters have a right to life with dignityand therefore a right to assistance

Development Cooperation

  • Development aid

  • Development cooperation

  • Development assistance

  • Technical assistance

  • International aid

  • Foreign aid

  • Overseas aid...

Main objective is to ensure sustainable development for all people in developing countries and ensure, that development will continue even after the money flow from donors will finish.

„ give people fishing rods, not fish“

Which areas of intervention?

  • Economic development

  • Social development

  • Political development

Which development cooperation projects are provided in developing countries?

  • Health sector

  • Women empowerment, human rights, civic rights

  • Income generation and small microfinance projects

  • Repatriation of IDPs

  • Development of the rural areas

  • Capacity building of the local NGOs, civil society

  • Infrastructure

  • Education

NGOs and development cooperation

  • Direct or indirect project support in developing countries, we help to improve peoples lives and livelihoods in developing countries

  • Global/Development education – education of people in donor countries about global interdependency and „third world“ problems, poverty and development cooperation

  • Advocacy campaigns and activities – active protection interests, especially interests of poor, marginalised, vulnerable groups of people in developing countries.  

Advocacy and development education

  • Educational and informational activities for public

  • Educational activities for experts and state representatives

  • Know how and expertise exchange form field

  • Ad hoc targeting of specific problems, e.g. Human rights violation

  • Lobbying

  • International networking

What does it mean in relation to DC?

  • Conditionality

  • Tied aid

  • Dutch disease

  • Code of conduct

  • White elephants

  • Remittances

  • Debt relief

Slovak NGOs – members of NDGO platform I

Slovak NGOs – members of NDGO platform II

Slovak NGOs – members of NDGO platform IV

Slovak NGOs – members of NDGO platform V

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