NGOs Are: Definition, History, Types, Roles, and 5 Examples in Indonesia

What is an NGO – Does Sinaumed’s often take part in social actions around the
neighborhood, both personally and on behalf of educational institutions?
Or maybe Sinaumed’s
wants to take part in this voluntary social action but doesn’t know where to start?

Well, those social actions are usually initiated by NGOs alias Non-Governmental Organizations.
Maybe for some Sinaumed’s there are those who still feel foreign to the existence
of this Non-Governmental Organization, because in Indonesia itself it has a different name, namely
Non-Governmental Organizations aka NGOs.
Yep, as the name implies, this NGO works
voluntarily and independently without any interference from the government at all.

If the government does not intervene, what about their funding? Of course there are many
Starting from donations from cooperating companies, voluntary donations from the
surrounding community, to raising funds by selling.
All of that is done solely to carry out
social action to the community directly.
So, what exactly is a Non-Governmental Organization?
What are the types and roles of NGOs for the civilization of this society? Are there
any NGOs in Indonesia?
So, so that Sinaumed’s understands these things, let’s look at
the following review!

What are NGOs?

Basically, this NGO alias Non-Governmental Organization is an organization that is not prioritizing profit
and is engaged in civil and environmental benefits.
The definition of an NGO is not limited to
organizations that serve the social needs of the community, yes, but also for several companies.

Well, this Non Governmental Organization can be considered as an organization that is almost the same as a
company in general, so of course there will be workers from various fields.
The difference is,
the workers at this NGO are volunteers who are not paid, but some are freelancers.
infrequently, this NGO opens job vacancies for several staff.

Since this Non-Governmental Organization operates more cooperatively than commercially, this NGO does not
have any relationship with the state government.
In addition, NGOs are also more non-profit
(non-commercial) and non-criminal, because they prioritize the interests of the social environment.

Just a little trivia, even though this NGO operates without any intervention from the government, they still
respect and obey the laws that apply , especially in the local environment.

Previously it was explained several times that these NGOs operate independently of the government, so they
are very brave in their efforts to criticize the policies of both the government and the private sector.
Moreover, if these policies are so detrimental to society at large.

In every country, there must be a Non-Governmental Organization that is engaged in a certain field and it
is not uncommon for it to increase every year.
In Indonesia, the number of Non-Governmental
Organizations, which are known as NGOs, has grown to 390 thousand.
Meanwhile in China, the
number even reaches 440 thousand!
Actually, this is only natural, because through this NGO,
people can fight for social issues, especially policies that are detrimental to them.

Characteristics of NGOs or NGOs

As previously explained, the characteristics of an NGO are:

  • Runs independently, without any interference from the government so it is not affiliated with a particular
  • Non-profit alias not seeking any profit (in the form of rupiah).
  • More in favor of the lower level of society.
  • Voluntarily, working for the social and environmental interests of society.
  • Non-bureaucrat, the procedures carried out are not convoluted.

History of NGOs in the World and Indonesia

A Brief History of NGOs in the World

The emergence of NGOs, aka Non-Governmental Organizations, began when the United Nations (UN) was established in
1945. The existence of these NGOs has been regulated in Article 71 Chapter 10 of the UN Charter regarding the
consultative role of non-governmental organizations.

Many consider that the term NGO is only to distinguish between the participatory rights of government agencies (
Intergovernmental Agencies ) and international private organizations ( International Private
Organizations ). In fact, at the beginning of the 19th century, NGOs played a major
role for society, one of which was as a balancing force against the United States

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At that time, the US public thought that the government had indeed neglected human rights and environmental
health, especially in its efforts to implement the government system.
This was then championed
by volunteers who joined independent, non-governmental organizations.
Together they fight for
their rights for themselves, the environment, and society.

A Brief History of NGOs in Indonesia

In Indonesia, these NGOs are called NGOs, aka Non-Governmental Organizations. NGOs in
Indonesia have been included in the category of Community Organizations so that they are regulated in Law
No. 8 of 1985 and Government Regulation No. 18 of 1986. In fact, the forerunners to the establishment of
these NGOs were NGOs alias Non-Governmental Organizations that emerged in the early 1970s.

Unfortunately, however, there has been much criticism of these NGOs because their institutions are
considered too broad to include the private sector (business).
Many people stated that the
existence of NGOs at that time covered a field that was too broad and their identity was hardly in line with
After that, the NGO was not mentioned again.

In 1980, the term NGO was used for the first time when an NGO seminar was held at the Indonesian Workers’
Foundation building.
At that time, the speakers did not use the term NGO anymore, because they
were worried that it would create a misunderstanding, namely as an organization that is “opposite to the
Although in reality, NGOs are not always on the opposite side of the government.
Sinaumed’s must have realized that in those years, the political atmosphere in Indonesia
was not conducive.

Just a little information, actually this NGO phenomenon has existed since 1908, namely the Boedi Oetomo
organization which is considered the first non-governmental organization in Indonesia.
As we
know, the founder of Boedi Oetomo at that time was Soetomo, who was still a student at that time, not from
the government.

What’s more, in the first 6 months, Boedi Oetomo was only active in social fields, starting from developing
middle class business capital, developing home industries, to unification of the poor.
Unfortunately, this organization did not last long because over time it was even controlled by the
government apparatus.

So, let’s return to the discussion on NGOs, shall we? The term NGO is then explicitly defined in the
Instruction of the Minister of Home Affairs (Inmendagri) No.
8/1990, addressed to Governors
throughout Indonesia regarding Development of Non-Governmental Organizations.

In the appendix, it states that NGOs are “organizations/institutions whose members are citizens of the Republic
of Indonesia who voluntarily or of their own accord intend and engage in certain areas of activity determined by
the organization/institution as a form of community participation in an effort to improve the standard of living
and welfare of the community.” , which focuses on self-help service.”

With the development of the times, the journey of NGOs has also been in accordance with the characteristics
of NGOs in general, namely oriented towards strengthening community groups, strongly committed to the ideals
of people’s participation, and mutually supporting the exchange of ideas and resources.
Examples of NGOs alias NGOs in Indonesia are the Indonesian Child Protection Agency (LPAI), the
Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), and many others.

Types of NGOs

In this world, there are various types of NGOs operating according to their respective goals and fields.

Based on Organizational Focus

1. Charitable Orientation

This type of NGO focuses on helping underprivileged communities with the aim of alleviating poverty.
Not infrequently they will provide assistance to victims of natural disasters. They
will move by distributing groceries, clothes, medicines, school supplies, housing, and

2. Life Service Organization ( Service
Orientation )

This type of NGO will focus on public health services, family planning programs, and education equity
programs, especially in remote areas.
The form of activity can be in the form of providing
assistance that is needed by many people.
For example, health assistance with mobile medical

3. Community Participatory
Organizations ( Participatory Orientation )

Their activities will directly involve the local community. Usually, they will collect
donations from the community, which can be in the form of cash, land, raw materials, equipment, and labor.
This type of NGO does not have sufficient resources so it requires community participation.

4. Empowering Organization ( Empowering
Orientation )

Their project will focus on facilitating the community, especially the grassroots, regarding insight and
understanding in various fields.
The goal, of course, is to empower the community regarding
social, political, and economic understanding that greatly influences everyday life.
carried out with seminar activities.

Based on Operational Level

1. Community Based Organizations/ CBOs

This type of NGO developed on the initiative of existing communities, for example sports club
organizations, women’s organizations, educational organizations, arts organizations, and others.
Since this NGO was formed based on the community, then of course it has the same social

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2. Urban Scope ( Citywide Organizations )

Namely the aid provider in every community in a city. Usually, their services only focus on
lower-level people.

3. National Scope (National NGO )

The operational scope of this type of NGO is within the country. Not infrequently, this type
of NGO also has branches in several countries and holds the responsibility to help each other with other
branch NGOs.
Examples: Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), Indonesian Forum for the Environment
(WALHI), and others.

4. International Scope ( International NGO)

As the name implies, this type of NGO operates internationally or globally. The goal is to
help the world community to be more prosperous by providing assistance to smaller non-governmental
Even though these types of NGOs have diverse orientations, they only focus on
political and social equality across society.
Example: Greenpeace and WWF.

The Role of NGOs in Society

The existence of NGOs certainly plays an important role in the lives of many people, including the less
They will jointly fight for the welfare of people’s lives and not take advantage of
So here are the roles of NGOs for the community:

1. Encouraging the Emergence of Sustainable

Actually, not only innovation will be supported by NGOs, but also trials and pilot projects.
Yep, this NGO will play a role in planning the implementation of various innovative activities.
What’s more, the number of NGOs in each country is very large, so that its application in terms of
innovation in various fields can continue for the community.
Not only that, NGOs are also able
to carry out pilot projects from the government, even faster than the government itself.

2. As a Representative of Certain Community

Since these NGOs fight for the social rights of the community without interference from the government,
they act as representatives as well as the forefront of the community, especially if there are government
policies or programs that are considered detrimental to many communities.
It can be said that
this NGO will act as an advocate and try to facilitate a group of people to voice their voice.

3. Development and Development on
Aspects of Social Life

In accordance with its main objective, NGOs play a major role in efforts to develop and develop people’s
lives in the social field.
Yep, they will be oriented towards progress in society, of

4. As an Aspirator

That is, NGOs will act as aspirators, alias intermediaries for conveying messages between the community and
the government.
Especially regarding complaints and problems that arise in the social sphere.
Usually, with the strategic role of these NGOs, their voices will be quickly heard by the

5. Technical Assistance and Monitoring

NGOs will participate in training efforts and technical assistance to community organizations.
In addition, monitoring and evaluation efforts will also be carried out effectively (usually when
there is a project) for maximum results.

5 Examples of NGOs in Indonesia

In Indonesia, there are many NGOs alias NGOs that are developing and operating in various fields.
Of course, their goal is to fight for people’s rights without government interference.
Besides the Indonesian Child Protection Agency (LPAI), Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI),
Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), what other non-governmental organizations exist in our country?
Come on, see the following reviews!

1. Marine Conservation Foundation (YKL)

This foundation was formed in Makassar, South Sulawesi in 1996 and later officially became a
non-governmental legal entity.
The existence of YKL is committed to the importance of
conservation in coastal areas, the sea, to the management of small islands.
Their projects also
often use alternative technologies that are environmentally friendly so that they also empower the lives of
local communities.

2. SUSTAINABLE Indonesia

This NGO is engaged in sustainable forest management projects. Even indirectly, LESTARI
Indonesia also helps the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve biodiversity in forest
and mangrove ecosystems.
Since the goal is forest management, their focus is on several areas
that still have a lot of green forests, for example Aceh, Central Kalimantan, to Papua.

3. Indonesian Child Protection Agency (LPAI)

Surely Sinaumed’s is no stranger to this one NGO? Yep, as the name implies,
this NGO is primarily focused on providing assistance to protect children.
The main points
of concern for this NGO are child exploitation, child trafficking, kidnapping, acts of violence,
neglect, and sexual abuse of children.

4. The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)

This NGO is active in the field of law. Later, their members will provide assistance,
especially to the lower middle class in resolving legal cases or when they become victims of criminal

5. PEKA Indonesia Foundation

The PEKA (Care for Nature Conservation) Indonesia Foundation was established in August 2000 in Bogor, West
As the name implies, they will be engaged in nature conservation and are active in
research, conservation education, and community development.
Not only that, the PEKA Indonesia
Foundation also promotes ecosystem health, aka Ecosystem Health, in Indonesian society.

So, that’s a review of what an NGO is and its development in Indonesia as an NGO.