Publication Date

1999

Abstract

Presently, the field of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Spain is very young but is beginning to be consolidated. The relationship between the professionals of these organizations and the current legislature affecting them is not a completely fluid or collaborative one but a dialogue is being ensued. A need for a united effort in creating viable collaborative possibilities, a legal framework responsive to the needs of the field, and educational resources for preparing a human resources base are issues that need to be addressed. I have intended to understand the state of being of Spanish NGOs by contacting the following organizations directly: the Coordinator of the NGO sector, the Platform for the Promotion of Volunteership, educational institutions addressing the field of cooperation and development, and governmental programs related to development. In this way, I have united diverse information about Spanish NGOs, educational programs, and the government's relation with the sector to give any individual interested in this sector an introduction to the present state of affairs. Given the newness of the boom of NGOs in the last few decades, questions abound about their efficiency, unity, and professionalism in facing the issues they intend to address. As a young professional wishing to commit myself to this field in my Spanish homeland, I have elaborated a cohesive overview of the field at this point along its historical development. I will reflect on the necessity for the NGOs' self-reflection, the value of the professionalization of the field, the benefit of influencing public policy, and propose links for collaboration between university students and NGOs. In this paper, I will present alternatives for strengthening the base of the NGO field so that it may attract and retain a dedicated, informed, and well-prepared human resources who will, together, be able to create a promising future, following in the idealism of the Spanish hero, Don Quixote (1).

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