CFP: NGOs The Non-Governmental Organisations Project

Sunday, August 30, 2015 - 4:00am to Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 10:33am

The Non-Governmental Organisations Project

Sunday 30th August – Tuesday 1st September 2015
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Presentations:
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) play an increasingly important role in generating the political, economic and social developments that shape daily life in our contemporary, global society. NGOs have the capacity to drive innovation and provide humanitarian relief in the face of natural disasters, war and other crises around the world. With a diverse range of organisations, objectives and activities that target local, national and international issues, the NGO sector is an expansive terrain characterised by dynamic relationships between agents of action, the causes they serve and the communities. Occupying the ground between business and government, the NGO sector faces a number of regulatory and financial challenges that affect its overall health and sustainability.

The Global Project on NGOs seeks to promote greater understanding of the sector, its societal contributions, current operational practices and strategies for future development through a raft of conferences, workshops, short courses and special events that foster inter-disciplinary dialogue. By bringing together representatives from NGOs, researchers and professionals working in fields where NGOs are active, the project will foster engagement that explores the factors, circumstances and historical changes that influence the development and activities of NGOs as well as the organisational, financial and political challenges facing the sector today.
The following key themes will guide project development:

1) Scope:
– Types and activities of NGOs: the rise of INGOS, BINGOS and RINGOS as a response to the issues of isolated groups working alongside each other and the challenges they face
– Sector-wide trends
– Case studies of successful or flawed NGO initiatives
– Profiles of NGOs and their involvement in particular causes and issues

2) Funding:
– Factors the encourage or discourage grant-making and donations
– Best practice models for fundraising and using monies effectively
– Historical and comparative analyses of funding patterns
– Scams and misappropriation of funds

3) Networking, Sharing Information and Expertise:
– Strategies for sharing information, resources and expertise
– Obstacles to networking and strategies for overcoming those obstacles
– Benefits of sharing
– Negotiating the big NGO vs. small NGO divide

4) Clientalism:
– Relationship between NGOs and governments
– Relationships between NGOs and for-profit businesses
– NGOs and service delivery
– NGOs as catalysts for social accountablilty
– NGOs and advocacy

5) Legitimacy and Sustainability:
– Threats to legitimacy and sustainability
– Public perceptions
– Relationship between NGOs and causes
– Relationships with grassroots movements and elites
– Methods and metrics for assessing success, effectiveness and value of NGOs
– Challenges to sustainability

6) Political Environment:
– Impact of political regimes on NGO activities
– NGOs as catalysts for political change
– NGOs and lobbying
– Assessments of NGO ‘power’: origins, limitations and uses

7) Regulatory Environments in which NGOs Operate:
– Challenges created by legal requirements around conditions of incorporation
– Red tape and administrative management
– Probity and compliance issues
– Mechanisms and practices for changing the regulatory environment

8) NGOs and Cross Culture Relations:
– NGO’s and the North/South divide
– NGOs and nationalism
– NGOs and the country vs. corporation divide

9) NGOs and (Inter)National Economies:
– Impacts of NGOs on national economies
– Impacts of national economic issues on NGOs
– Impacts of global economic and institutional issues

The Steering Group welcomes the submission of proposals for short workshops, practitioner-based activities, performances, and pre-formed panels. We particularly welcome short film screenings; photographic essays; installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.

What to Send:
300 word proposals should be submitted by Friday 1st May 2015. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 10th July 2015. 300 word abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats, following this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: NGO1 Abstract Submission

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Ibrahim Natil:
Rob Fisher:

The conference is part of the ‘Ethos’ series of research projects, which in turn belong to the Critical Issues programmes of ID.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and challenging. All proposals accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected proposals may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.


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