Date of Award/Publication

12-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Department

International Studies

Abstract

As the number of NGOs increase, there is concern that their quantity could dilute the cachet of the NGO status- sought by non-profits-- and overburden the United Nations' selection and follow-up review process now conducted every four years. Does the current UN evaluation method used to confer NGO status and conduct review convey an NGO's effectiveness? This paper supports the view that the current evaluation by the UN does not convey effectiveness and needs revamping. Without more timely and rigorous UN evaluations or revised checks and balances, NGOs may suffer the fate of "no confidence" of their supporters, beneficiaries and public goodwill. This paper will examine current evaluative methods (or lack of) used by the UN and other inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) and ways NGOs are currently deemed effective within the context of civil society. In addition, the paper offers recommendation to the UN to improve evaluative methods-such as holding a 6- to 12-month UN moratorium of granting NGO status, conferring status solely by the UN and not by other inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), and the possibility of large international NGOs forming alliances to regulate themselves in venues of public transparency. The paper will highlight case studies of current (traditional) methods of evaluation among NGOs. A new wave of self-sufficiency is now taking over NGOs which want to identify their success and areas needing improvement and to make transparent their activities and collaborations. The INGO Accountability Charter and the World Association of Nongovernmental Organizations (W ANGO) are two examples which will be discussed about performance check-ups with varying levels of effectiveness. The synergy among civil society actors (government, business and NGO) can be greatly warped if NGO numbers are not kept in check by the UN along with a revised or revamped application and evaluative process.

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