The advantages of NGO Aid over Official Development Aid
- Generally smaller and thus more responsive to the needs of local communities than the kinds of large scale development projects undertaken in the days of Modernisation Theory.
- There is no political agenda as is often the case with government aid, and thus aid is not ‘tied aid’ – it is freely given.
- NGOs can provide a more continuous supply of aid compared to governments, which can be effected by elections
- NGOs are more likely to help the poorest of the poor, unlike TNCs who will only invest in slightly more developed countries that are more stable because these provide a better prospect for profit.
- NGOs provide one of the most critical voices of government aid agendas and provide a broader range of knowledge about life in developing countries compared to Official Aid Agencies
Limitations and Criticisms of Non-Governmental Organisations
- NGOs provide a tiny amount of aid compared to Governments and the World Bank – ODA from Britain is around £10 billion a year, total donations to development charities measured in the hundreds of millions. This relative lack of funding means NGOs can only do a limited amount compared to bigger, official aid agencies. NGOs cannot help to bring about Industrialistion or serious economic growth, only help small local communities with social development.
- NGOs spend much of their money on glossy advertising campaigns and administration costs rather than helping people in the developing world – a good 25% of money raised is spent on such costs.
- A lot of aid campaigns portray images of Africans as starving and helpless in order to generate sympathy and thus donations. This perpetuates the idea of Africa as a helpless continent incapable of helping itself, whereas the opposite is actually true – Africa is full of incredibly creative entrepreneurs.
- NGO Aid can often be misguided, doing more harm than good such as with the ‘buy a goat campaign’ or the ‘sponsor a child campaign’.