The importance of NGOs sector on regional level

Over the past two decades the processes of democratization, economic liberalization and ethnological transformation have led to a dramatic growth in the number, diversity, reach and influence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and networks. They include social and political movements indigenous people groups, youth organizations, woman’s groups, environmental, human rights and development organizations, consumer groups, faith-based initiatives, professional associations, trade and industry organizations, chambers of commerce, philanthropic foundations, universities and scientific research institutes. They operate individually and collectively at all levels of society and have impact on many aspects of people lives, ranging from their political and civil rights and obligations, to economic, social and cultural rights and opportunities.

In some countries, NGOs are major contributors to development processes. Optimal development requires the harnessing of country’s assets it capital, human and natural resources to meet demand from its population comprehensively as possible. The public and private sector, by themselves, are imperfect in that they cannot meet all demands.

Traditional NGO activity has concentrated on the “supply side”: delivering services, providing development programs, or assisting official bodies to increase the spread of their own programs. Much of the literature and pioneering work of operational NGOs now concentrates on what could be called the “demand side”: helping communities articulate their concerns and preferences, maneuvering into a negotiating position with official bodies in order to amplify that “voice,” and mixing technical operational skills with “information age” communication, advocacy and networking skills both to give power to and to enhance the existing power of poor people.

The rol and influence of NGOs in relation to capacity development and education is of interest because of the incontestably important role of these organizations in development in general, and in the education sector in particular.

National coordinating organizations in the countries of the region tend to be organized into sectorial networks around specific themes and activities such as health, education, democracy, decentralization, gender, and small businesses. The national networks are not themselves NGOs in the strict organization sense, rather coordinating bodies of a variety of types of organizations, some of which include NSOs, but also social movement, sectorial networks, territorial networks, producers associations, unions and federations. Today, the NGO sector even combines with government and business sector.

As the whole world has now become a „global village“, the national NGOs have become parties in a network of relations for common interests and interactions, so the roll of these NGOs has become more and more important on all, local and regional level. This role is most reflected in:

  • The increasing influence on policy making.
  • Contribution to drafting agendas for the UN gatherings regarding the several issues whether they should be social, economic, political or cultural.
  • NGOs have been a channel of communication for people’s contributions. They have been another tool for democracy.
  • Some of NGOs could help mitigate some socio-economic problems such as poverty and unemployment.

Azra Bećirović-Federation for support of economic and social development „Horizon 2024″