Non-Governmental Organisations in a Changing International Context

Modular value: 20 credits

Module Convenor:  Robert Leurs 

Aim of the Module

This module introduces the diverse nature of international development NGOs, the many different roles they play in development work and the challenges facing NGOs. Topics include:

  • Definitions and typologies for the NGO sector
  • NGO roles in promoting civil society and the private sector, in service provision, in post-emergency rehabilitation and in advocacy work
  • Relationships amongst NGOs
  • Relationships between NGOs and donors and communities
  • Capacity-building for NGOs and of other development organisations
  • Future directions for NGO development

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the diverse nature of international development NGOs, the many different roles they play in development work and to the challenges facing NGOs in carrying out these roles.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you will be able:

  • Provide and critique different definitions and typologies for the NGO sector
  • Understand and critically evaluate the different roles NGOs play in promoting civil society and the private sector, in service provision, in post emergency rehabilitation and advocacy work
  • Explain the challenges facing NGOs in terms of their multiple relationships with other NGOs, donors and communities and critically analyse the implications of these challenges
  • Understand and critically evaluate how NGOs can build their own capacity and/or that of other development organisations
  • Understand and critically evaluate possible future directions for NGO development.

Teaching and learning approach

Classroom sessions will consist of: lectures including guest presentations and videos; in-class discussions and activities; and student presentations.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding NGOs, FBOs and civil society
  • NGO disaster preparedness and response
  • NGO service delivery
  • NGO advocacy
  • Building NGO capacity and NGOs building capacity
  • NGOs working in and on conflict
  • NGO relationships with governments, donors and other NGOs
  • NGO relationships with the private sector
  • NGO management
  • Future directions for NGO development

Assessment

  • One 600 word practical assignment worth 30% of the total mark
  • One 3000 word assignment worth 70% of the total mark.

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