4. Development NGOs



  1. What are some social, economic, and political implications of addressing the needs of students? (86)
  2. Could ODN just as easily have been founded by American students as by students from Bangladesh? Why or why not? (86)
  3. To what issues or causes do you have a "life-long commitment"? What types of activities and experiences led to your commitment(s)? Based on your answers, is JustAct's work likely to foster "life-long commitments to social and economic justice"? Cite specific examples to support your position. (86-88)
  4. Do the projects that JustAct supports in other countries, many of which are relatively small in scale, really make a difference? How much difference? To whom? (88-90)
  5. Was it a good idea for JustAct to broaden the focus of its organizational activities in the late 1990s? What are some advantages and disadvantages of such a move? (89-90)
  6. What are some of the broader implications of JustAct's particular type of inclusiveness for global civil society? State somewhat differently: Beyond establishing a certain type of relationship with its partners, what does JustAct hope to accomplish by adhering to its inclusive principles? (91-92)
  7. How important are the (a) intercultural and (b) interpersonal exchanges in which JustAct engages? As an organization, how much more or less effective would JustAct be without these exchanges? (95-97)
  8. Was JustAct's "overt, clear decision to be more political"—part of its late 1990s shift of focus—a good idea? How so, or why not? (97-98)

Womankind Worldwide

  1. What are some social, economic, and political implications of addressing the needs of women? (100)
  2. What is "empowerment"? What are some of its theoretical and practical effects? (100)
  3. In terms of women's life experiences, is anything important not addressed by Womankind's "four literacies"? What does this tell you about the value of this theoretical framework as an basis for Womankind's organizational activities? (101, 110)
  4. How is Womankind's inclusiveness similar to or different from that of other NGOs examined in this book? (105)
  5. Is Womankind's decision to play the role of "facilitator" a good one, or would the NGO and its benefactors be better served if Womankind initiated projects itself? Explain your answer. (107, 110)
  6. How do Womankind's "clustering" approach and its emphasis on what are sometimes called "strategic gender needs" help it to accomplish its organizational goals? How might be some effects of this particular approach and emphasis on global civil society? (111-113)
  7. How realistic is Womankind's vision "of a future society in which women can take their place as equal partners in determining the values, direction and governance of their community and country—for the benefit of all"? Is your answer different after reading about Womankind's activities and their effects than it was before? (100-115)


  1. What are some social, economic, and political implications of addressing the needs of the poor? (117)
  2. Which of the three strands of Oxfam's work—humanitarian response, development work, and advocacy—do you consider most important, and why? (118)
  3. Compare Oxfam's organizational development experience to Greenpeace's. In this regard, what accounts for the differences between these two organizations? (119-124)
  4. Will Oxfam's recent decision "to be global" have any notable effect(s) on how this NGO contributes to global civil society? Explain your answer. (121)
  5. What is "poverty"? How is Oxfam's conceptualization of poverty similar to or different from your own? (124)
  6. Can individual people's voices be heard, and can a broad exchange of (varied) ideas take place, in an NGO the size of Oxfam? What institutional factors or characteristics might hamper or facilitate such a process? (125-127)
  7. Do you agree or disagree with Oxfam's belief that "people living in poverty usually know how to sort out their own problems, but lack the means to do so"? Why? What are the implications of your answer for how relief and development work should best be approached? (127-129)
  8. With regard to Oxfam's organizational cognizance, which of the NGO's activities and strategies are most significant? Why? (130-135)
  9. Are Oxfam's age and size a help or a hindrance when it comes to accomplishing its organizational objectives? Are there other organizational traits that might influence your answer to this question? (116-137)


  1. With regard to each of these NGOs, what are the most important results of its choice to target a particular population (students, women, the poor)?
  2. With which of the three NGOs examined in this chapter are you most impressed? Least impressed? Why?
  3. Which one of these three NGOs contributes most significantly to global civil society? Explain your answer.


Womankind Worldwide: Supported Projects

Select a country where Womankind is involved, from the Where We Work page of their website, and answer the following questions:

  1. What are the most important goals of Womankind-supported projects in this country?
  2. What role(s) do individuals play in helping to accomplish these goals? Be specific.
  3. If the projects in this country were to accomplish their goals, what impact might this have on global civil society?

Oxfam: Fair Trade

Browse the website for Garstang, The World's First Fairtrade Town.

  1. What makes Garstang a "fairtrade town"? How did it become such a town?
  2. Could this happen in your home town? Why or why not?
  3. What impact might Garstang's status as a fairtrade town have on Oxfam and its work?

Oxfam: Policy

Visit Oxfam's website to read about how the organization portrays its fight against poverty and commitment to human rights.

  1. What are the most important issues addressed by Oxfam? Justify your response.
  2. For what audience is this information intended? Why, and how so?
  3. How much impact does Oxfam's policy work have in terms of reshaping world politics? Explain your answer.