Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Dimensions of Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific Region

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Trevor Parfitt

Abstract

This paper examines the role that Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) can play in promoting sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. It focuses on two dimensions of sustainability, these being sustainability of the development effects of projects and programmes run by development NGOs and environmental sustainability. It is noted that NGOs are thought to have a comparative advantage in pursuing these goals due to their extensive experience working at the grassroots and their relations with local people. Such qualities are seen as conducive to success at delivering sustainable projects and as making NGOs effective advocates for reform of environmental policies. A variety of case studies drawn from across the region is used to demonstrate that NGOs have the capacity to deliver progress with regard to both aforementioned dimensions of sustainability. However, this must be done in collaboration with other concerned parties including the state, international actors and civil society.

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