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close this bookNGO Guidelines for Good Policy and Practice (Commonwealth Foundation)
close this folderPart I: NGOs: what they are and what they do
close this folder4. NGO activities described
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.1 The spectrum of NGO activities
View the document4.2 Who and what
View the document4.3 How
View the document4.4 The diversity of NGO activities

4.3 How

As has been noted, NGOs do not necessarily devote all their time and efforts to working directly for or with the disadvantaged. Those activities which are focused on mobilising resources, undertaking research, informing the public and advocating change will involve, in various ways, directing time and energy to engaging the interest and involvement of other groups and institutions in society. NGOs may therefore act directly and/or indirectly, just as the 19th Century philanthropic pioneers did. To draw on medical terminology, their work in treating the symptoms of disadvantage will mean direct action, while identifying the underlying causes, promoting reform, and creating long-term cures will often necessitate indirect action. So too will addressing matters which are detrimental to the well-being, circumstances and prospects of people or society more generally in such fields as human rights, peace, gender awareness, the rights of indigenous peoples and the environment.