An NGO is a non-profit association that functions outside institutionalized political structures and pursues its target issues by lobbying, persuasion or direct action. The term "NGO" typically refers to social, cultural, legal and environmental advocacy groups having non - commercial goals.
Twentieth century globalization gave NGO's a whole new lease because many problems arose that could not be solved within a nation. International treaties and organizations such as World Trade Organization were considered biased towards capitalist interests. NGOs lay emphasis on humanitarian issues, developmental aid and sustainable development which helped in counterbalancing the capitalist trend. A prominent example of this is the World Social Forum, a rival convention to the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland. The fifth World Social Forum in Porto Alagre, Brazil, in January 2005 was attended by representatives from more than 1,000 NGOs. 
There are three stages or generations of NGO evolution described in "Three Generations of Voluntary Development Action" (Korten, 1990). A first generation NGO is the typical development NGO that focused on relief and welfare and delivers its services directly to its beneficiaries. These NGOs notice immediate need and respond to them spontaneously. ...Show more