Management of Non-Governmental Organisations: Trends towards Developed Civil Society

Article excerpt

Management of Non-governmental Organisations: Trends Towards Developed Civil Society By Ovasdi J M Macmillan India Ltd. (2006); Pages: 408; Price: Rs. 280; ISBN 1403928681

The book deals with three questions. The first concerns the theoretical aspect of civil society, while the second relates to the contrasting forms of Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the third dwells on the issue of social marketing and management. Undoubtedly, the book raises the relevance of values, ethics and management practices in the NGO sector. Ovasdi asserts that NGOs have been a subject of debate since the beginning of the 20th century. All the 11 chapters in this book look at the basics of NGOs, civil society, development, environment, industrial ecology and human rights with regard to management.

Chapters 1, 7 and 11 relate to the title of the book. Ovasdi enquires into the social marketing principles which entered the management parlance in the early 1970s. He says that the marketing principles which used to sell products and services to consumers could also be used to sell ideas, attitudes and behaviors in the social sectors. He asserts that just like commercial marketing, the primary focus of social marketing is on the consumerlearning what people want and need rather than trying to persuade them to buy what the manufacturer happens to be producing. Ovasdi also makes an argument for effective community participation, especially in respect of preserving the environment. He argues that a community can potentially play a significant role in environmental management of an economy, besides the government and the industry.

Chapter 2 discusses the legal framework of NGOs. It tries to explain the kinds of Acts applicable to voluntary organizations. The third chapter examines the rural development initiatives and informatics in India. The author mentions the methods of project formulation and also highlights some case studies. In Chapter 4, he briefly highlights the steps for NGOs in project formulation, negotiations and obtaining approval of the funding agencies. After giving an elaborate account on the concept of women empowerment and poverty in Chapter 5, Ovasdi maintains that gender inequality is constantly being reinforced not only by the educational system but also within the context of the family. In Chapter 6, he cautions that there would be continuous environmental degradation if strong efforts are not made to curb pollution, contamination and overexploitation of the environment. Chapter 8 focuses on the response to emergencies and disasters by highlighting the experience of the Gujarat earthquake of January 26, 2001. Chapter 9 looks at the transformation of people's lives and social system. The author gives sketches of a few prominent individuals who have been trend-setters in changing the system from within. …


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