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What Is a Local NGO?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2014
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A local nongovernmental organization (NGO) is a type of organization that is geared toward the provision of some sort of benefit to the society, usually in the form of humanitarian aid. The difference between a local NGO and international NGOs is the fact that a local NGO is more grassroots-oriented than international NGOs. That is to say that the programs initiated and embarked on by local NGOs are more concerned with immediate issues related to the immediate environment in which they are located. Another major difference between an international NGO and local NGO is the fact that this scope of the local NGO is more limited, and the finances are also very limited in comparison to the type of resources the international NGO has to work with.

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As a matter of fact, part of the objective of some international NGOs is to assist locally affiliated NGOs in the realization of their goals, either through financial means or through the provision of aid and other forms of assistance that local NGOs might require. To this end, a local NGO that is situated in a remote village somewhere in South America might be targeted toward the eradication of a particular disease that is peculiar to the inhabitants of that village. In such a situation, the local NGO might depend to a large extent on the aid from international NGOs that are involved in the general eradication of the diseases as well as the provision of medical care. Most times It is this interrelationship between the two types of NGOs that make the most impact in terms of the realization of the goals of the two NGOs due to the fact that one NGO might not be able to competently address all of the underlying factors that constitute challenges toward the realization of goals.

For instance, an internationally affiliated NGO will probably have some challenges in terms of the administration of its manifesto in the different countries of the world due to the challenges raised by culture, language and other forms of barriers, including trust issues. This might not be a problem for a locally oriented NGO since language and culture will not be an issue, and the inhabitants of the location in question will not have the same kind of trust issues with fellow citizens as they would with foreigners. Apart from this, locally oriented NGOs also have some form of leverage with the locals that can be used to help achieve the aims and objectives of the organization.

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