Alternative Forms of Non-Governmental Organisation: Lessons for the UK from the CIS and East Asia

There is a long history of countries in the west ‘exporting’ models of non-governmental organisation (NGOs) and civil society, first to developing nations and subsequently to Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Pacific Rim. In this process, NGOs and civil society groups have been adapted in those nations to reflect local cultures and contexts. Yet little of that learning has been transferred back into a Western ‘donor nation’ settings.

On 17th June 2010, The Third Sector Research Centre, the Department for Political Science and International Studies and Birmingham Business School at the University of Birmingham organised a seminar on 'Alternative Forms of Non-Governmental Organisation: Lessons for the UK from the CIS and East Asia'. This drew together practitioners and academics active in civil society organisations from the UK, Vietnam, East Timor, Georgia and South East Asia to explore different and emerging forms of NGO organising and models of civil action in different international contexts. It asked – what can the UK learn from those active in NGOs in developing nations and, in particular, post conflict states?

A summary of the event, a complete set of abstracts, and the presentations on the day, are now available. Comments, feedback and thoughts on the key learning from the day are welcome – contact Angus McCabe