Hence, some members of the society have organized NGOs, non-profit, voluntary organizations which seek to promote social justice by protecting the right of human beings and by providing basic social services to them (Koehn, 2002).
Since NGOs have a growing impact on the society, it is important to determine and assess their roles. This paper evaluates the role of NGOs in international development through different development theories and by studying specific cases. Ultimately, this paper aims to determine the extent to which society needs NGOs.
Development is a complex process which experts attempted to explain through theories. Modernization theory is among those. This theory states that development should aim for economic growth, equity, democracy, political order and stability, and autonomy (Princeton University, 2006). When it comes to economic growth there is but very little, if not absolutely nothing, that NGOs can contribute. However, NGOs can play a huge role in the attainment of the other goals of modernization that Huntington proposed, especially when it comes to equity. People who unite to form NGOs can help in minimizing wealth inequality, which is often manifested by the lack of access by some individuals to basic social needs and services.
NGOs may not be able to promote equity in the whole society but they can do so within smaller communities. An excellent example of this is the case of one Romanian NGO called the Association of Former Baragan Deportees of Timisoara, Romania. Under the leadership of Adam Balmez, the NGO united thousands of deportees who lobbied for reparations for their suffering caused by the cruelty of the communist regime. The NGO also helped in bringing to public the suffering that more than 40,000 people had endured because of communist brutality. The Association has not limited its actions into legally advancing the rights of deportees. It has also provided its members with basic social