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Patterns of Development Issues and Proportional Representation in UN-Affiliated NGOs Related to the Millennium Development Goals and the Monterrey Consensus

Barry Mowell


Using data obtained from the United Nations Integrated Civil Society database, I analyzed UN affiliations with transnational nongovernmental organizations for patterns related to the degree of representation of certain development-related policy/issue areas across world regions. I undertook empirical research related to Millennium Development Goals and the Monterrey Consensus in an effort to identify macro-scale patterns relating to proportional representation. My findings reveal that UN-affiliated NGOs located in predominantly developing regions are generally underrepresented in proportion to the share of global population in those regions. This fact undermines perceptions that UN affiliations with transnational civil society have achieved proportional representation among world regions. I also found that substantial variations exist regarding development-related NGO focus/issue areas. Far more UN-affiliated NGOs are concerned with eradicating poverty and hunger and with gender equality issues; fewer are interested in reducing child mortality or improving maternal health. The study also revealed that only a small percentage of UN-affiliated NGOs in the database are currently accredited in the consultative status program of the UN’s Economic and Social Council.

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Published by the University of Florida Press on behalf of the Association of Global South Studies.