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How NGOs can influence government decisions

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

An NGO is a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) i.e. a non-profit organisation that operates independently of the government. Some operate at a local level, while others operate at a global level. They deal with issues such as safeguarding Human Rights, preventing Human Rights Abuses, protecting the environment and other issues such as poverty and homeless.

The aims of an NGO are:

1. NGOs aim to improve the lives of others by bringing about change.

2. NGOs aim to influence and change the attitudes of people, groups, organisations and businesses become more socially responsible.

3. NGOs aim to influence those who make the decisions, i.e MLAs, MPs, local councillors and government policy makers to encourage them to bring about change.

An NGO can influence the government by:

Lobbying government

NGOs can meet with government representatives and present their views about issues and persuade them to take them on board when making decisions.

Organising Petitions

NGOs can organise a petition to show public support for an issue and present this to the government. This may cause the government to give greater consideration to their views before making decisions on particular issues.

Peaceful demonstrations/marches

NGOs can organise a show of public support for an issue to make the government aware of how people feel. This may cause the government to give greater consideration to their views before making decisions on an issue.

Presenting Research/Reports

NGOs may conduct research about an issue and present a report of the findings to the government. This could provide the government with new information to consider before making decisions on a cause/issue.

Using the Media

NGOs can use the media to highlight their cause or issues they are dealing with. They could use TV, radio, newspapers and/or social media platforms. This would allow the government to gain an understanding of how the public feel about an issue and this may influence what decision the government will make.

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