Alternative forms of NGO:
Lessons for the UK from
the CIS and East Asia

Seminar - 17 June 2010

 There is a long history of countries in the west ‘exporting’ models of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society, first to developing nations and subsequently to Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union (the Commonwealth of Independent States, or CIS) 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 17 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?

One PDF summarising of the event, and another combining its complete set of abstracts have been produced, and the complete set of presentations from the day are available for download below.

Comments, feedback and thoughts on the key learning from the day are welcome – contact Angus McCabe



Relations between government and NGOs in service delivery Richard Batley, International Development Department, School of Government and Society

Governance and Narrative: Alternative forms of Non-Governmental Organisation Dr Kevin Morrell, University of Birmingham Business School

Civil Society Actors in Historical Perspective: The Georgian Case Eka Datuashvili, Centre for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia

The changing roles of NGOs in East--Timor (1975-present) Estêvão Cabral, POLSIS

Marginal and Mainstream? The UK Third Sector: History and Policy Contexts Angus McCabe, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham

Transnational Advocacy, Workshop on Alternative Forms of Non-Governmental Organisation Julie Gilson, University of Birmingham

Agency and Created Space among Civil Society Networks in Vietnam Andrew Wells-Dang University of Birmingham

Current development status and operational environment (SPACE) of the third sector in Georgia Irina Bregvadze, Centre for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia