What Are the Different Types of NGO Projects?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2019
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Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) projects can range from environmental interventions to literacy programs. The goal of such projects is usually to improve standards of living and quality of life in a region. This can include promoting economic participation, addressing social inequality, improving infrastructure, and empowering residents to take charge. Such organizations can vary considerably in size and mission. They may receive funding assistance from governments, charities, and members of the public with an interest in their work.

Some NGO projects focus specifically on improving conditions on the ground. These can include infrastructure development, sanitation improvements, and healthcare initiatives. Some groups take an empowering stance where instead of providing services and maintenance, they encourage residents of a region to participate in service development. In the process of activities like learning how to install and service wells, citizens acquire skills and knowledge. They can use these to advance improvements in other regions and to maintain the improvements in their area, creating a sustainable system.


Social welfare can also be a subject of interest with NGO projects. Organizations may promote education and could work on independence for marginalized members of society. This may include women, or those who have historically experienced discrimination due to religion, race, or political belief. Social equality can improve quality of life for all residents, while programs to enhance financial independence can create changes in the level of economic participation. For example, a nation with numerous small businesses owned by minorities could start exporting and participating more in the global economy.

Environmental conservation is another initiative used by some NGOs. This can include direct conservation measures to preserve important habitats and resources as well as farming education and other activities to encourage members of a nation to participate in environmental issues. Participants in environmental NGO project may work on a variety of topics, from documenting indigenous knowledge to creating wildlife preserves. Some environmental NGO projects involve activism to pressure nations to improve environmental policies and raise awareness about global issues.

Designers of NGO projects may also consider ways to improve political systems. Direct involvement in the government may be forbidden for ethical reasons or as part of the terms of working in a country. Instead, organizations may consider ways to empower voters with activities like election monitoring or political education to help people understand how political systems work. NGO projects can also support candidates and assist with political strategy if this doesn’t violate agreements with host countries.


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