The 100 Best NGOs – but where’s Southeast Asia?

By Johannes Loh, on January 26th, 2012

top100 NGOs blog The 100 Best NGOs   but wheres Southeast Asia? picture

The Global Journal has published a list of the Top 100 NGOs according to their definitions, and research criteria. The list is topped by the Wikimedia Foundation, followed by Partners in Health, Oxfam, BRAC and the International Rescue Committee. Unsurprisingly, the list is dominated by US organisations (37), followed by UK (14), Switzerland (9) and France (4); Rest of the world (29). Southeast Asia is sparsely represented: There is Digital Divide Data, a social enterprise from Cambodia, Friends-International, an INGO also based in Cambodia, and the Population and Community Development Association from Thailand.

This new ranking is supposed to represent the top 100 leading actors of the non-profit world:

The first international ranking of its kind, this exclusive in-depth feature will no doubt stimulate debate, while providing academics, diplomats, policymakers, international organizations and the private sector an insight into the ever changing dynamics and innovative approaches of the non-profit world and its 100 leading actors.

In his blog A view from the cave, Tom Murphy raises a few important questions:

  • What indicators are used to produce the ranking? (staff size? funding? no. of projects?)
  • Why is the ranking methodology not published in detail?
  • How come truly global players such as the Gates Foundation or World Vision are not included in the list?

As long as these questions remain unanswered, the usefulness of this international ranking remains rather limited. In the foreword of the journal issue the editor states that a set of specific metrics such as impact, innovation, transparency, accountability and efficiency “guided” their choices, but also that “there is no science in the measuring”. We would appreciate a bit more transparency about the methods in order to understand how these 100 NGOs ended up on the list.

Have a look at the full list and tell us what you think: any surprises, any big players missing?


3 Comments to The 100 Best NGOs – but where’s Southeast Asia?

  • Weiwen says:

    “There is no science in the measuring” totally discredits the concept of a ranking in the first place! I wouldn’t take this seriously at all.

  • Mark says:

    There is no use in creating a ranking which is based on criteria only known to editors. Those named are inherently subjective.

    It seems to me they took the easy way out when they realized ranking NGOs of different size and nature on “quality” is an impossible task. They end up with a list of NGOs they think have the merit to be the top100.

  • Dakshesh says:

    Quite a few lesser known organizations in that list! It’s great to see the Barefoot College ( from India on Rank 15! You should cover their work in your blog!

    Seems like most publicity/praise for the ranking comes from the listed NGOs. Unsurprisingly, most of their websites published some triumphant message + referred back to the ranking…

  • Leave a Reply