DEVELOPMENT & HUMAN RIGHTS
While NGOS have played a fundamental role in prompting development efforts in South Asia, there is a need to use self-assessment mechanisms to gauge the impact of their activities.
Have South Asian countries found an alternative to political structures?
South Asia is a volatile region plagued by corruption, social inequality, terrorism and political instability. Against this backdrop of uncertainty, the NGO sector has played a fundamental role in prompting development efforts to infuse positive social change. Despite the largely favorable nature of these initiatives, a great deal of criticism has been levelled against the transparency and accountability of these organizations. This has significantly dented their credibility and resulted in their work being viewed with considerable scepticism.
However, the overall impact of NGOS in South Asia cannot be denied. In 2001, UNDP reported that there were 35,000 NGOS operating in Pakistan. The number has increased exponentially ever since. Nepal has also witnessed a significant increase in non-profit organization geared towards promoting social development.
It is intriguing to note that NGOS operating in South Asia have offset the ineffectiveness of the government in providing bare essentials, such as education and healthcare. Furthermore, the role of NGOS in preserving basic human rights cannot be overlooked. As a result, before NGOS can be deemed specious and irresponsible entities, it is important to analyse their role in improving living standards, preventing human rights violations and encouraging the state to prioritise the social and economic well-being of