In search of a working philosophy for the faith-based nongovernmental development organisation : a case study of The Salvation Army : a faith based N.G.O. and its involvement in primary health education in East Africa : a thesis presented in partial completion of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Philosophy in Development Studies at the Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The role of the Nongovernmental Organisations in development has rapidly expanded over
the past thirty years. This growth in scope has resulted in a number of significant problems
and benefits. For most NGOs there has been a move from being solely a charity welfare
organisation to being required to take over many services previously undertaken by
governments in the area of development. A recent further development has been the major
change in emphasis by many international development organisations from long-term
development to humanitarian assistance as a result of a series of major humanitarian
disasters globally. The challenge faced by the international NGO is how to synthesise a
comprehensive development philosophy that embraces all its activities. The dominant
approach over the last thirty years has been funding projects, with the presumption that
these activities would result in sustained community change in the recipient communities.
Despite the fact that project-related funding is the main source of development funds, it is
very confusing for NGOs in search of a workable philosophy to read the theory on the subject
and to find that the development project is almost universally derided as being inappropriate.
A synthesis is needed to evaluate the correct place of the project in community development
if NGOS are to be consistent in their theory and practice.