Non-governmental Organisations and Development

School: School of Government
International Development Department

Modular value: 20 credits

Lecturers: Robert Leurs and Willem Van Eekelen

The overall aim of this module is to introduce you to the diverse nature of development NGOs, and to some of the many different roles and relationships they undertake in development, as well as reflecting critically on some of the challenges NGOs have faced in carrying out these different kinds of work and in managing these relationships.

The module is delivered via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), with hard copy materials. Students engage in structured group discussion board activities with the tutors.

Topics explored include:

  • Understanding NGOs and civil society
  • NGOs and humanitarian aid
  • NGOs and service provision
  • NGOs and public advocacy
  • NGO relationships
  • NGOs as learning organisations and their advocated futures

By the end of this module you should be able to:

  • Provide and critique different definitions and typologies of the NGO sector
  • Understand and critically evaluate the roles NGOs undertake in humanitarian aid, service provision and policy advocacy
  • Understand and critically evaluate how and why NGOs build and maintain relations with a range of actors in the wider development and humanitarian community
  • Understand and critically evaluate how NGOs can build their own capacity as learning organisations and critically evaluate possible future directions for NGO development 


Two 3,000 word assignments (50% each).

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.