This paper attempts to draw some lessons from the experience of development NGOs throughout the world over the last five decades. It starts by describing the meaning of the alternative development paradigm as practised by NGOs. It then examines some of the major socio-political changes that have occurred in recent years, and their impact on development NGOs. Finally, it outlines some key dilemmas facing development NGOs, and their potential implications for their future roles and contributions at the start of the new millennium.
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