The Working Life of Southern NGOs: Juggling the Promise of Information and Communications Technologies and the Perils of Relationships with International NGOs
The astronomical increase in the number of citizen groups, civil society movements, and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) in the period 1980-2000 represents a fundamental transformation in the relationship of ordinary citizens to governing authority. Increased access to and use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) by southern NGOs has often been identified as an important step toward effective action in their relevant fields. The way in which southern NGOs define and manage their relationship with international NGOs and ICTs will define their level of success in achieving their development goals. Although all 37 survey respondents possessed and used some form of ICT infrastructure, defined as "equipment that allows you to connect and make use of the internet, World Wide Web, and e-mail", they had a fairly wide range of available equipment. The portrait that emerges of southern NGOs from even this small survey is of a constant competition to attract the intellectual and financial attention of international NGOs.