We NGOs: a controversial way of being and acting

While the forces of globalisation have intensified economic polarisation, diverse social movements worldwide are struggling to defend the public interest and to promote a more rights-based and sustainable form of organising human society. In allying themselves with the causes of the dispossessed at the local level, and raising international awareness of such issues, NGOs have a part to play in building a more equitable global order. However, NGOs urgently need to find better ways to link these struggles with their analysis, their action, and their ethical values. This article is freely available as the opening chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.