|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Politics Government Democracy Social issue|
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play a great role in enhancing the wellbeing of the people in a given society through awareness campaigns, development of democracy, protecting the rights of the marginalized groups, and environmental preservation activities. Development NGOs, in particular, implies organizations that are non-profit making that focuses on programs and projects that enhance the development and governance issue in a particular country (Lewi & Kanji, 2009). Thus, these various activities that development NGOs is involved are crucial in the social, political, and economic development of a society. However, there have been questions on whether development NGOs should endeavor to serve a political role or not. The rationale behind this concern is based on the argument that development NGOs should be neutral in their roles to ensure it does not attract political instability based on the political side it is seen to support. This research takes the position that development NGOs should not endeavor to serve an apolitical role since they play a critical part in promoting and protecting the society through economic and social programs, both of which involve politics.
Development NGOs use politics to advocate for the rights of the marginalized communities. At its basic level, politics is all about the process that establishes the reliable distribution of values (Baldwin & Haugaard, 2017). This aspect implies that politics is involved in the allocation of the resources to the people. The extent of the politics to be engaged in the distribution of the resources means that development NGOs have a stake in the distribution of resources since they are the first advocates of the rights of marginalized groups all over the world (Lewis, 2010). Development NGOs, such as Oxfam, are the first group that links with the poor and marginalized to understand their problems and design programs that have the potential of alleviating their present social and economic problems (Hughes, Hutchison & Jane, 2012). Consequently, development NGOs have a stake in politics since they are expected to raise awareness and complain to the current authorities on the needs of the marginalized in resource distribution since they are the people's advocate.
Similarly, the role that development NGOs have played and continue to play in the development of democracy in former dictatorial and undemocratic nations is an indication that they should endeavor to serve a political role. The non-government organizations are major advocates for democracy across the world, which is a demonstration of their significant political growth of a given society (Lowenkron, 2016). Oxfam, for instance, campaigns for the involvement of the poor in global and local decisions that affect them. Thus, in the absence of the NGOs or the failure to be involved in the politics of a particular country, democracy will be the major casualty since the political elite would hardly accept laws that have the potential of hindering their political survival.
Moreover, the role that development NGOs plays in working as an opposition to the government in the majority of the countries has been instrumental in strengthening the freedom of the people by ensuring authoritarian regimes do not survive (Mohan, 2002). Equally, the development NGOs play a critical role in checking the various government agencies from misusing public funds. These roles played by the development NGOs have been essential in promoting the social, political, economic development in developing and emerging countries by promoting rule of law and respect of human rights (Carroll & Jarvis, 2015). Thus, the development NGOs should endeavor to serve a political role since history has proved it is at the center of political changes and good governance of a country.
Furthermore, the role that development NGOs have in environmental protection depicts that they should serve a political role (Mowles, 2007). The environmental damage has become a critical political concern due to the potential harm exposes the current and future generations. This risk has seen development NGOs venturing in the environmental activities aimed at resolving the current environmental damages being witnessed across the world (Banks & Hulme, 2012). For example, NGOs in the U.S have been instrumental in influencing the environmental decisions and policies that have helped the country from enacting lethal environmental laws and decisions exposing the Native Americans to poisonous water and food sources (Kraft, 2014). Consequently, the development NGOs should be encouraged to undertake a role in politics since they carry weighty influence in the preservation and protection of the environment. The decision to block or limit the political role of the development NGOs has the risk of giving an opportunity to unscrupulous governments and business people to engage in activities that endanger the environment such as mining, draining of pollutants to water sources and deforestation that will be risky to stability of the ecosystem. Consequently, development NGOs across the world should undertake a decision to serve a political role to protect the welfare of the people from corrupt government agencies and investors in the future.
Additionally, development NGOs deserve to take a political because of the experience they have on the management of resources targeting the public for non-profit interests. The non-profit interest by the development NGOs is an indication that they are interested in the enhancement of the public wellbeing, which is a critical aspect of politics (Gerard, 2015). The political agenda of any country is guided by the activities that have the potential of improving the wellbeing of the people not profit making by politicians and government institutions. Thus, the services and aids that are offered by most of the development NGOs such as Oxfam International, Children International, and Action-Aid International without the need of generating profits by offering services to the communities is a demonstration that their activities are closely linked to the betterment of peoples' lives.
Similarly, the experience in public resource management that development NGOs have gained by working with governments and local communities is an indication that they have a role in the politics of a given country. Equally, the contribution that these NGOs makes in enhancing the welfare of the people is an indication that they have a stake in the running of the country. Indeed, the development NGOs have a right to be involved in a decision-making process involving the distribution of the public resources since they have contributed to the funds and understands the problem different communities face(Phillips, 2012). Accordingly, the development NGOs should undertake a role in the politics of a country.
The humanitarian roles that development NGOs have been offering communities in distress is another critical reason they should serve a role in the politics of a country. Humanitarian activities expose the staff members of the development NGOs to the harsh environment due to the experience they undergo in seeing the sufferings of the people (Fernando, 2011). This experience gives the management of the development NGOs such as Red Cross the first-hand information on the public needs compared to politicians and policymakers living in safe places from the crisis. The direct contact that development NGOs has with the people in distress implies that they have a great role in the politics of a country. The development NGOs should be involved in the politics of a country to offer their experience in resolving the crisis facing the people (Beer, Bartley, & Roberts, 2012).
Also, the development NGOs should consider taking a political role in the management of a country since they have firsthand information on the causes of the crisis by talking with the local people directly. The local communities facing regular crisis have a tendency of ignoring government agencies in favor of the development NGOs due to the feeling of being let down and marginalized by the government (Naidoo, 2010). Thus, the development NGOs can offer essential solutions to the government and working with the local communities to end the perennial crisis they face. This superior connection that the development NGOs has with the poor and marginalized communities in distress demands that they should serve a political role since they are their advocates in the political decision- making the process.
Furthermore, development NGOs should consider endeavoring to serve a political role due to the enhanced understanding they have on the social issues faced by the people in a given society. Majority of the development NGOs are formed based on the social problems such as health access, education accessibility, employment availability, and family issues that people face on a daily basis (Rodan & Hughes, 2012). These issues are critical in determining to which people can contribute to the social, political, and economic advancement of a country.
A demoralized population has a high potential of engaging in antisocial activities such as crime, prostitution, and drug taking that are detrimental to the realization of good governance and development. The development NGOs have a better understanding of the social issues people are facing compared to the government policymakers due to the close proximity in their residential areas that gives them close connection and interaction (Carroll & Jarvis, 2015). This advantage possessed by the development NGOs enhances their ability to determine possible solutions that should be employed and cooperating with the local with the locals in resolving the problems. Accordingly, the development NGOs should endeavor to serve a political since they have enhanced understanding of the social problems facing the different communities that requires a political solution of good governance and development.
The international influence that development NGOs possesses also justifies the argument that they serve a political role in governance and development issues. Majority of the development NGOs have penetrated in multiple countries that give them an exposure to diverse governance and development models employed by individual nations (Barnett, 2016). For example, the Red Cross NGO runs its activities almost across all nations in the world. This exposure gives the management of the development NGOs on the effective development and governance models that have been tested and have been successful. Consequently, the government agents can borrow from the development NGOs on various models they have experienced countries in resolving similar problems they are targeting.
Also, the wide international connections that developments NGOs have imply that they have political and economic influence across different nations (Willetts, 1996). Accordingly, the development NGOs should consider undertaking a political role in helping their local governments to develop a multilateral agreement with the foreign countries based on the influence and connection they have internationally. This political role has an opportunity of helping a nation to build friendly relations with hostile countries that are essential in political, social and economic development through the sharing of ideas and assistance (Barnett, 2016).
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