Origin of NGO

The history of philanthropic activities is as antiquated as the history of mankind. From the day men started living together in society, since then they have begun to help each other in time of need. In ancient time, people used to live in small clans and whenever any one of them fell into trouble, and then the strong and sympathetic kinsmen would come out to help the poor and the feeble. The substituted prevalent version of these separate and unorganized activities is today’s NGOs.

Historically in Bangladesh, NGOs started their operation from the colonial period. During those days their activities were limited within philanthropic activities. Basically by establishing schools, hospitals and orphanages they start the way for future scope of expansion (ADB, 1999). During the East Pakistan period NGOs were came very visible after the massive cyclone in 1970. After the independence of Bangladesh lots of NGOs have emerged to help the new war ravaged country for relief and rehabilitation. In the beginning of 80s NGOs were increased in numbers and area of operation. Initially they were taken the community approach.


Area of Operation

NGOs in Bangladesh have concentrated their activities in the following areas:

  • Micro credit
  • Employment and income generation
  • Formal and non-formal education
  • Health, nutrition and family planning
  • Women’s right
  • Environment
  • Poultry, fisheries and live stock
  • Water supply and sanitation
  • Human rights and legal aid.

NGOs are also becoming significant in their advocacy role. Major issues taken up so far have been drug policy, breast feeding, reproductive rights, land reform, rights of tribe’s, primary education and flood action. With increasing emphasis on policy advocacy, NGOs working in this areas are showing much promise.

GO & NGO Collaboration:

Non-government organizations (NGO) are emerged as a strong party in development discourse and playing significant role. NGOs have emerged as third sector development organizations. In the development arena NGOs cannot work in vacuum, they have to work with cooperation and in co-ordination with government sector. To attain the target of development, the government of Bangladesh has taken different programs. Many NGOs are also operating programs in this regard. Opportunities are growing for the NGOs to work with Government. But it is not possible for the NGOs to do all the development activities without involving Government. GO and NGO collaboration which will ensure utilization of scarce resources in more efficient way where comparative advantages will be beneficial for both parties. If Government and NGOs both can work with mutual respect then common goals can be achieved. Government will attain social agenda and NGOs will be effective in their activities.

The Deputy Commissioner (DC) as being a central government representative plays a pivotal role in co-ordination of governmental affairs with all government functionaries with variance of respective functionality. Development activities in the district level are mostly done with the help of District Administration and other organizations are associated with the whole effort. DC offices are the representatives of the central Government and entrusted with the co-ordination and monitoring authority. Most of the NGOs in Bangladesh have their branches in districts. So, there is huge scope for interaction between the GO and NGOs at District level.