Development / 21.12.2011

By Farooq Sulehria The NGO sector is growing globally. Statistics indicate a 400 percent increase in the number of international NGOs. From a couple of hundred in the 1960s, the number had reached 50,000 by 1993 worldwide. In 2001, the last year for which complete figures are mostly available, the size of the “non-firm, non-government” sector was estimated at 1.4 million organisations, with revenues of nearly $680 billion and an estimated 11.7 million employees. Over 15 percent of development aid is channelled through NGOs. A UN report says that the global non-profit sector with its more than $1 trillion turnover could rank as the world’s eighth largest economy. The growing NGO influence is evident in many ways. On one hand, the overall global flow of funding through NGOs increased from $200 billion in 1970 to $2,600 billion in 1997. On the other hand, the buzzword ‘civil society’ has been appropriated by the NGOs.
Education / 26.09.2008

By Anjum Altaf Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) remind me of Iqbal’s poem PahaaR aur Gulehrii (Mountain and Squirrel) in Baang-e-Dara. In terms of the scale of the problem they are insignificant just as the size of the squirrel is insignificant relative to the size of the mountain. In terms of the ability to think, the roles are reversed – the brain of the squirrel is vastly superior to the non-existent brain of the mountain. So, clearly NGOs can be irrelevant or relevant depending on whether one looks at their brawn or their brain. Take education in Pakistan as an example. The public school system in the country is the mountain; the NGOs are the squirrel. It is quite clear to anyone who has looked at the numbers that the public school system has broken down. Leave aside the quality of education being imparted in the schools (it should best...