NGO Roles in the Project Cycle

The following table provides a summary of the specific roles which NGOs can play at various stages of a project cycle. Each of the tasks described below requires specific skills and competencies (eg.: participatory methodologies, technical knowledge etc.) and individual NGOs must be selected accordingly. Levels of NGO experience vary significantly by country and sector, and therefore, the ability of NGOs to fulfill the taskks described below must be verified on a case-by-case basis.

Stage in Project Cycle
Potential NGO Involvement
Project Identification
  • provide advice/information on local conditions
  • participate in environmental and social assessments
  • organize consultations with beneficiaries/affected parties
  • transmit expressed needs/priorities of local communities to project staff
  • act as a source, model or sponsor of project ideas
  • implement pilot projects
Project Design
  • consultant to the government, to local communities or to the Bank
  • assist in promoting a participatory approach to project design
  • channel information to local populations
  • co-financier (in money or in kind) of a project component
  • source of funds for activities complementary to the proposed Bank-financed project
  • project contractor or manager (for delivery of services, training, construction, etc.)
  • promote community participation in project activities
  • financial intermediary role
  • supplier of technical knowledge to local beneficiaries
  • advisor to local communities on how to take advantage of project-financed goods or services
  • implementor of complementary activities
  • beneficiary of an NGO funding mechanism established by the project
Monitoring and Evaluation
  • NGO contracted to monitor project progress or evaluate project results
  • facilitate participatory monitoring and evaluation
  • independent/unsolicited monitoring and evaluation

World Bank, Working with NGOs A Practical Guide to Operational Collaboration between the World Bank and Non-Governmental Organziations . Operations Policy Department, World Bank, 1995, pp.29.

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