Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

The diversity of non-governmental organizations is prodigious from major international powerhouses of foreign aid to countless community based organizations that rally in response to crisis. Key classifications have been drawn in terms of the geographic focus of operations (international, regional, national, local), the scope of programming (single-mandate such as MSF or ACF, multi-mandate such as Oxfam or CARE), the relationship to religious faith and by areas of specialization, from generalists in crisis response to a focus on specific needs or expertise, such as a single disease or area of technology. As contrasted to UN agencies, NGOs' defining trait is their independence from government, although in practice this independence varies.
Meeting with representatives of several international NGOs
Photo: OCHA Colombia

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