|NGOs become a sector||
The form of institution most often chosen for the NGO is the Society- that amorphously democratic structure which has members electing and monitoring the activities of a Board or Committee of Management, which in turn supervises the functioning of an executive officer or director. Often, the executive officer chooses and controls the Board and the General Body. This is both the strength and the weakness of the structure.
Other forms commonly chosen are the Trust and the non-profit company. Apart from these, there are unions, cooperatives and associations that are membership based.
Non-formal forms of NGOs are campaigns, networks, common action programmes and federations. They are also associational in nature and membership driven. Not all of them register formally. Those who do, choose an institutional form like the society, union, cooperative, according to the nature of their constituents.
Coming back to the issue of definition, the term NGO traditionally referred
to social welfare organisations including the Lions Club or Rotary. Later,
the term included action groups. These groups needed a formal structure
to administer their funds and therefore registered under the Societies'
Registration Act or Public Trusts Act. This also enabled them to receive
foreign funds from the few European agencies that poured in considerable
amounts into organisation work in the early eighties. Meanwhile, the government
promulgated the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, and since many action
groups received funds from foreign donor agencies, they all came under
the new law. From the mid-eighties, the government also started using these
organisations to implement development programmes, first through CAPART,
and then, through the programmes of various social welfare ministries.
the term NGO became increasingly associated with organisations `contracting
development programmes'. Small groups grew in size, finances and visibility.
The result was the emergence of an NGO sector.
|Siddhartha Sen, The Non-Profit Sector in India; Helmut K Anheier and
Lester M Salamon, The Non-Profit Sector in the Developing World.[R.Q40.687].
KK Mukherjee, Emerging Societal Changes and Voluntary Organisations: Challenges and Responses. Gram Niyojan Kendra, Ghaziabad,1994. [R.Q45.609]. Contains a four-page history of organisations during the British period and an appendix briefly describing rural development, experiments of the Pre-Independence period, like the Sriniketan experiment.
Society for Participatory Research in Asia, Strengthening the Grass-roots: Nature and Role of Support Organisations. PRIA, New Delhi, October, 1990. [R.Q43.600].
John D'Souza, Mid-life Crisis: Stray Thoughts on NGOs.
Voices. Vol.1.No.1.1997. [J.Q40.1997VOI16].