NGO Networking

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“NGOs work in a society as institutions in their own right and through negotiation with other institutional actors to achieve their interests. Their success in working in society depends to a great extent on their ability to influence others in their environments…”(Doh and Teegan 217)

Optimally, networks have the potential to benefit Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the areas of organizational development, performance, and advocacy. Likewise, the means for education and partnership multiply when NGOs connect with other NGOs or organizations. The Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance study, “NGO Networks: Building Capacity in a Changing World,” cites key characteristics shared by most networks and diverse approaches to NGO networking. In analyzing these characteristics and the way that networks function, a brief history of network ideology and NGO networking since the 1980’s, when such partnering practices became more common, provides background to the topic. NGO networks operate in many different areas of society and the circumstances from which they form are likewise varied. It is understood that as the challenges and benefits of NGO networking are negotiated, the present and future of NGO networks will remain a learning process that means continuing to evolve as engines of change.

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