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How Do I Choose the Best NGO Books?

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  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2016
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Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are non-profit groups that are formed by volunteers who have similar interests and goals. For example, people who are interested in protecting the quality of their drinking water might form an NGO that performs research and communicates with government officials about issues related to water resources. To choose the best NGO books, it first is important to consider which goals you hope to achieve with the books. For example, a scholar who is interested in studying the impact NGOs have had on environmental policy might use books that are different from an individual who is thinking of starting his or her own organization. It also is a important to consider the qualifications of authors, when NGO books were written or updated, and the reputations of books.

NGOs are found all over the world and operate in a number of different capacities. For example, large international organizations might focus on communicating with world economic institutions to improve the living standards of communities in impoverished countries. Smaller, community organizations, on the other hand, might concentrate on issues as particular as traffic lights in their neighborhoods.

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When you are searching for the best NGO books, consider what you hope to learn from the books. If you are interested in getting a general introduction to NGOs, then the best book might be a general history that provides you with plenty of background regarding these organizations in different contexts, such as global versus local contexts. People who need NGO books to help them start their own organizations can benefit from books that are purely instructional and which might also contain information relevant to a certain location. If this is the case, it is essential that you choose NGO books that are as current as possible since many legal factors continually change.

A person looking for NGO books also should make sure that he or she at least is slightly familiar with authors. For example, if you are interested in how NGOs have impacted the air quality, you should make sure that you find NGO books written by individuals who have reason to be familiar with environmental policy. Likewise, if you are interested in statistics, you should choose books by academics and researchers who have studied data, whereas a person looking for instruction might choose books by people who successfully have started their own NGOs.

Before depending on NGO books, it can be helpful to research their reputations. For example, you might find it beneficial to discover if others have used certain books to launch successful projects. Having a number of different perspectives can help you to make more informed decisions about which NGO resources you use.

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irontoenail
Post 3

@clintflint - Often the NGO will publish their own books and sometimes these are made available to the public. They might contain a lot of the information that you're thinking of.

If someone is interested in a particular region, or in a particular NGO, I would call up individual workers and ask them if they were given any information booklets when they first started the job. If an NGO has a presence in an area, they will often compile information and pass it on to their new workers.

You will probably get a lot of information by doing this that you might not otherwise be able to find, as I doubt they put all their failures into books that are meant for the public.

clintflint
Post 2

In my experience with NGOs there is almost always a log book or two that contains a wealth of information somewhere in the building and those are the ones you want to read. People are usually encouraged to write down everything they try and what succeeds and what fails and you will get a real account of what to do and what not to do which is region-specific.

It's almost impossible to get decent region-specific guides otherwise.

KoiwiGal
Post 1

One of the best NGO books that has been around for a long time (but is constantly updated) is Where There Is No Doctor and other books in the series (I believe there is a midwife and a dental version as well).

The whole point of the book is that it has extremely clear pictures and covers a lot of fundamental topics like hygiene in a way that can be understood by almost anyone even if they can't read well. But even though a lot of the information is basic, it's still a book that I like to have on my shelves, just for emergencies.

It's done a lot of good in developing countries, since it can teacher where there is no one else to do so.

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