ROLE OF NGOS IN PAKISTAN: A RESEARCH PROPOSAL
ROLE OF NGOS IN PAKISTAN: A RESEARCH PROPOSAL
A non-government organization (NGO) is defined by the NGO organization as, “any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group which is organized on a local, national or international level.” There are many types of NGO’s depending on the goals and functions and the level of development in the country. In Pakistan, NGOs are categorized as advocacy and lobbying, policy advocacy, emergency and rehabilitation and relief operations, development-oriented NGOs, community-based NGOs, funding NGOs and apex NGOs.
Advocacy and lobbying NGOs in Pakistan are experts in the utilization of and networking with the media. The issues that they mostly advocate are legal rights, minority rights, literacy rights and women’s and children’s rights. Political advocacy NGOs initiate and participate in dialogues about policy issues in the country. Emergency, rehab and relief operations NGOs are the oldest types of NGOs which flourished starting in the late 1940’s. There is a very small number of development-oriented NGOs in Pakistan, a handful are serving in community-based projects. There are also some funding NGOs that channel funds to other NGOs. The funds come from international funding agencies. Very recently NGO apex bodies emerge. These apex NGOs are representative bodies of NGOs that modulate the conduct of NGOs within the body and negotiate in behalf of NGOs.
Non-government organizations existed in Pakistan since 1947. The NGOs emerged to provide humanitarian aid for refugees and help victims in communal riot. Pakistani women played a very active role in the formation of these NGOs. The services offered are rehabilitation, health and education. The number of NGOs become static for three decades and grew unprecedentedly in the 1980s and 1990s. At the current, the number of NGOs in Pakistan is between 25,000 to 35,000.
Review of Related Literature
The influx of a great amount of foreign aid to local NGOs in Pakistan means that the partner local NGO has all the financial resources to perform better than its locally-funded contemporaries. But foreign funded local NGOs do not necessarily perform better than those funded locally since they are driven to a goal set by the international funder. (Naviwala, n.d.) But with the slow economic growth in Pakistan it is understandable that the government only provides very little financial support to their local NGOs. This is a challenging reality faced by NGOs in the country. Although the government recognizes importance of NGOs there is a problem of registration to clarify the roles objectives and activities of the more than 25,000 NGOs in the country. Recently the government with very little financial support extends cooperation with NGOs and working with NGOs.
The Asian Development Bank observes that with very limited resources, NGOs in Pakistan do not perform effectively in terms of poverty reduction, gender equity, people participation, sustainability, cost-effectiveness and innovations. But local NGOs however can provide the abovementioned services with the least cost compared to the government. ADB perceives that these NGOs needed more training on transparency and accountability especially that they usually employ family members in the organization, capacity-building, management and leadership skills, financial management, and technical skills in development sectors,
The NGO’s in Pakistan obviously need more areas of improvement. As a developing country, its role is concentrated more on the specific developmental areas that require more urgent solutions, as such poverty reduction, people participation, health, education and literacy, emergency, rehabilitation and relief, gender equity, children and minority rights and community-development projects.
Statement of the Problem
This study will identify the types of NGOs in Pakistan that are currently operational. This study will also describe the roles that each of the types perform. Finally, this study will also assess whether the roles are performed and analyze the obstacles that hinder performance of roles and the factors that facilitate the achievement of these roles.
This study uses a qualitative approach. A large amount of data will be gathered from secondary sources from books, journals, newspapers and other documents. An interview from a key-informant (expert on NGOs and those who are working in NGOs) will also be utilized to strengthen the findings. The large amount of data are organized and categorized as necessary to aid in the data analysis.
ADB, 1999. A Study of NGOs: Pakistan. Pdf. [online] Available at:<http://www.adb.org/ngos/docs/NGOPakistan.pdf> [Accessed 24 May 2011]
Definition of NGO. [online] Available at:< http://www.ngo.org/ngoinfo/define.html> [Accessed 25 May 2011].
Naviwala, N., n.d. USAID and Local NGOs in Pakistan. [online] Available at:<http://www.hks.harvard.edu/cchrp/sbhrap/forum/article_0003/ForumResponse.pdf> [Accessed 25 May 2011].