Courses Catalogue

Managing Non-governmental Organizations

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Project Planning and Management, Masters
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: College of Humanities and Social Sciences
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

The last 30 years have witnessed an extraordinary growth in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in almost all parts of the globe, and in all spheres of human activity. NGOs have become a highly visible component of civil society and are now significant players in the fields of human rights, the environment and social development at local, national and international levels.

Despite some deep historical roots, the emergence of NGOs as formalized, structured institutions has been relatively recent. Although they share some characteristics with state and private sector organizations, NGOs are in a category of their own; they have particular organizational features, maintain relationships with a broad range of different actors, and face a number of special challenges. NGO management has therefore evolved as a distinctive practice and field of study that differs in content and perspective from business management and public sector administration.

This course provides a critical overview of the major issues involved in NGO management. It draws on the growing body of theoretical work and practical experiences to provide an outline of the most significant management challenges facing NGOs today and the tools and approaches that managers use.


This course has been designed to:

  • Introduce students to the frameworks for understanding NGOs
  • Brainstorm the range of resources available to NGOs
  • Discuss mechanisms to enhance financial sustainability of NGOs


On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Use a variety of frameworks to understand the organisational characteristics of NGOs.
  • Analyse and understand the key issues and challenges facing NGOs as development organisations.
  • Apply a range of tools and approaches to the development of NGO structure, systems and strategy.
  • Describe some of the important issues in managing people as individuals and as groups.
  • Recognise the broad range of resources available to NGOs, to evaluate their potential contribution to financial sustainability and to identify and interpret the key elements of financial management information.