By Clara Egger

This series of graphs compares the distribution of various subtypes of NGOs and NGOs federations in each region, which account for a diverse range of organisations, in terms of geographical coverage, capacity and relationship with crisis affected communities. A key added-value of the Humanitarian Organisations Database (HOD) is to give a more fine grained view of the diversity of humanitarian NGOs. 

Regarding the NGO types, the HOD distinguishes between international and regional NGOs - working outside their national boundaries - and community-based and national NGOs working within the national boundaries of their headquarters. The graph confirms that international NGOs mostly originate from Europe, North America and Oceania which also host the bigger humanitarian donors and the biggest humanitarian agencies. Europe and North America are also the home of the highest number of NGOs federation umbrella offices and branches with international activities. 

In contrast, the Middle Eastern, North African and Asian regions have a similar regional profile. They are characterised by a high number of national and community-based NGOs but also have some regional and international NGOs with the capacity to intervene in distant crisis locations. These regions aim to combine a strong role of national actors in the management of domestic crises, developing their own conception of humanitarianism without belonging to international NGO federations. They are also characterised by a stronger presence in international crisis, departing from the view of a Global South mainly hosting small scale organisations. 

In contrast, the Latin American and African regions reveal another form of national humanitarian response. Both continents are marked by a strong presence of national NGOs, although more limited than in MENA and Asia. However, these two regions are above all characterised by a strong role of federation branch and international NGO national offices in the management of domestic crises. National conception of humanitarianism hence appears to be influenced by foreign organisations. 

A central limitation of our results is the limited number of community based organisations included in the HOD. If you are a member of such an organisation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

This Expertise Note was contributed by Dr Clara Egger in collaboration with the Humanitarian Encyclopedia team, based on analysis of the Humanitarian Organisation Database (HOD).

Last update : Apr 13, 2021