The term "non governmental organization (NGO)" was first used around the same time the United Nations was established to distinguished between "intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)," such as the United Nations, and "private organizations" and "non profits". In general NGOs are considered non-profit organizations (NPOs) and fall under the broad category of civil society organizations (CSOs). While there are many definition, the World Health Organization (WHO) notes "By definition, ... civic groups are nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), in that they are organizations not affiliated with government. However, in practice, the term “NGOs” is used to describe non-profit making, non-violent organizations, which seek to influence the policy of governments and international organizations and/or to complement government services (such as health and education)." (WHO)
This guide helps to discover information resources about NGOs and information generated by NGOs.