World NGO Day

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    • Each year World NGO Day is celebrated on February 27th.

    World NGO Day 

    • About:
      • It is an international day dedicated to recognize, celebrate and honour all non-governmental and nonprofit organisations, and the people behind them that contribute to the society all year around.
    • History:
      • The World NGO (Non-Governmental Organisations) Day assumed its official status when 12-member countries of the IX Baltic Sea NGO Forum on April 17, 2010 formally recognised it. 
      • In 2012, the forum’s Final Statement Resolution adopted the day.
      • Later, in 2014 it was decided that this day would be celebrated as World NGO Day when the United Nations celebrated it.

    NGOs

    • About:
      • Non-governmental organisations, or NGOs, were first called such in Article 71 in the Charter of the newly formed United Nations in 1945. 
      • They are nonprofit entities independent of governmental influence who work for, environmental, social, advocacy, and human rights work. 
    • Range of function:
      • They work across a range of arenas and play important roles of facilitator, catalyst or partner in bringing social transformation. 
      • NGOs play a critical part in developing society, improving communities, and promoting citizen participation. 
    • Aim:
      • The main objective of NGOs is humanitarian and cooperative work rather than commercial purposes.
    • Importance: 
      • The central government gives a great thrust to NGOs that promote the country’s development. 

    Significance

    • Core issues dealt by them: 
      • The NGOs look into accelerating activities like issues dealing with poverty alleviation, water, environment, women’s rights and literacy. 
      • In the past decades, there has been significant growth in areas where NGOs have been active. 
    • Dynamic:
      • They have been dynamic in almost all sectors: Health, education, livelihood in rural and urban areas to name a few. 
    • Influence the Government policies:
      • Another major achievement of NGOs includes influencing the Indian government to formulate various developmental laws and policies, which include:
        • Right to Information, 
        • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), 
        • Juvenile Justice and 
        • Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS). 
    • Partner in campaigns:
      • NGOs also partnered with the government to successfully implement major campaigns like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
      • Such partnerships gives better results and involvement of common people.
    • Great help in crisis situations:
      • NGOs have always been on the forefront, taking accountability by offering multiple solutions for development. 
      • During the pandemic, NGOs played a pivotal role and supported the government’s COVID-19 response initiative full-fledged. 
    • Grassroot presence:
      • Given their grassroots presence and solid community relations, local NGOs played a very important role in accelerating vaccination drives and encouraging communities to practice COVID-19 protocols.

    Challenges faced by NGOs

    • Lack of Long-Term Strategic Planning:
      • NGOs appear to be incapable of predicting what they will do even in one or two months. 
      • Most of their activities look like one time shots. However, a single event is not enough to change the attitude towards some problem.
    • Lack of Funds:
      • NGOs feed on their want to be able to help more individuals and communities depending on their needs. To do so, NGOs need to constantly acquire funds. 
      • In some cases, NGOs become complacent and simply wait for donations or previous supporters to contact them. 
      • This practice will in no way contribute to the successes of an NGO. 
    • Absence of networking:
      • NGOs working together to reach their goals more efficiently is one perspective. 
      • However, some NGOs also see it as a form of competition. 
      • For some reason, there are NGOs who believe getting close to other NGOs or nonprofits will cause them to have more competition in terms of applying for grants.
    • Lack of maintenance:
      • In many developing countries, the lack of infrastructure is quite common and NGOs believe that people deserve a better standard of living. 
      • Without proper maintenance, the benefits to their living standards may only be temporary.
    • Lacking skill:
      • Most NGOs lack the technical know-how for efficient working and are also not interested in investing in training etc. 

    Way Ahead

    • NGOs need to step in where governments couldn’t, and provide services that governments do not. 
    • The working of NGOs should never be put on the back-burner.

    Source: DTE