NGOs: Advantages and Disadvantages


    • They have the ability to experiment freely with innovative approaches and, if necessary, to take risks.
    • They are flexible in adapting to local situations and responding to local needs and therefore able to develop integrated projects, as well as sectoral projects.
    • They enjoygood rapport with people and can render micro-assistance to very poor peope as they can identify those who are most in need and tailor assistance to their needs.
    • They have the ability to communicate at all levels, from the neighbourhood to the top levels of government.
    • They are able to recruit both experts and highly motivated staff with fewer restrictions than the government.


    • Paternalistic attitudes restrict the degree of participation in programme/project design.
    • Restricted/constrained ways of apporach to a problem or area.
    • Redued replicability of an idea, due to non-representativeness of the project or selected area, relatively small project coverage, dependence on outside financial resources, etc.
    • "Territorial possessiveness" of an area or project reduces cooperation between agencies, seen as threatening or competitive.
Abstracted from - Cousins William, "Non-Governmental Initiatives" in ADB, The Urban Poor and Basic Infrastructure Services in Asia and the Pacific". Asian Development Bank, Manila, 1991

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