Alexander Shand

electronics engineer,

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Are MONGO's a good idea?

My Own Non Government Organisations are independent aid organisations which help countries in need. They are often set up by churches or other small groups, somethimes even by individuals.
Are these groups a good idea in the fact that any help is good help or does something like international aid require the structure that can only be given from a large organisation.

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      Aug 5 2011: Eric,

      Can you explain you reason for excluding religious groups? Surely if we are to say that any help is good help then we can't pick certain groups to leave out?
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          Aug 6 2011: Eric,

          Unfortunatly I dont think that any of these agencies are not politically influenced!
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    Aug 5 2011: Any attempt at helping those in need, whether coming from a large or small organization, is commendable. But I think the focus of aid organization should be reconsidered - from simply donating funds to making incentivizing investments like what KIVA and Jamii Bora do.
  • Aug 5 2011: I think almost any kind of help is welcome as it inspires others to join the cause and it can become much large entity. Didn't many of NGOs start as a small group or a single individual?

    Small organizations/individuals can also make a big difference because helping effectively is not always easy. =)
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      Aug 5 2011: Hi Zdenek,

      I would usually agree that any form of help would be useful in most cases. Whne it comes to international aid however I feel that volunteering with a larger organisation is better than an individual or small group effort.

      A smaller group can be more inclined towards making 'access deals' with local warlords or tribal leaders, less likely to record the statistics behind their visit and less likely to be able to give any medical after care that may be required. These could lead to financing of the root problem, poor knowledge of the distribution of aid and medical care wasted due to problems further down the line.

      Do you not think that these smaller groups could simply offer up their services to the likes of OXFAM or MSF?
      • Aug 5 2011: Would you say that it was not worth to join these organizations at the beginning of their existence?

        "The original Oxford Committee for Famine Relief was a group of concerned citizens such as Canon Theodore Richard Milford (1896–1987), Professor Gilbert Murray and his wife Lady Mary, Cecil Jackson-Cole and Sir Alan Pim. The Committee met in the Old Library of University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford, for the first time in 1942, and its aim was to relieve famine in Greece caused by Allied naval blockades. By 1960, it was a major international non-governmental aid organisation."

        "1971 - Médecins Sans Frontières is Founded. A group of French doctors and journalists creates MSF in the wake of the war and accompanying famine in Biafra, Nigeria, and the floods in eastern Pakistan (now Bangladesh)."

        "1949: SOS Children's Villages founded in Austria by Hermann Gmeiner; first SOS Children's Village built in Imst, Austria."

        You have noted that
        "A smaller group ... is less likely to record the statistics behind their visit and less likely to be able to give any medical after care that may be required."
        I am not sure if we always need to record statistics and many groups are not involved in medical field but rather in education, social services etc.

        I believe smaller groups could offer good services (in smaller scale) as it really depends who is guiding the group.

        Basically I would not generalize about smaller group but rather look at individual cases. I agree that with smaller organization there is a higher chance of someone setting one up to make themselves rich but otherwise if the organization is genuine I think they can help to make the world a better place and find donors to grow bigger?

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    Aug 5 2011: What about transparency and auditing. Do they have good and solid authorizations.
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      Aug 5 2011: Erol,

      this is the problem in my eyes. A group or individual can simply apply for a visa (if their is a stable government that requires this) and then head off in a plane with whatever they can spare/carry.

      I think that this exposes the people that they are meant to be helping to unneccessary risk?