Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and militaries are thrust together in the complex spaces that follow conflict. While both entities may be crucial to ongoing stability and development, little is written specifically about their interactions in pursuit of these outcomes. This paper begins with a review of the diverse relevant literature, then moves on to discuss the need for improved understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced before outlining a study that has commenced to understand and improve interaction between NGOs and militaries.
It is well known that militaries and NGOs have distinct and divergent cultures. However, their understanding of and attitudes towards each other are at least as important in defining their ability and willingness to interact. Better mutual understanding and respect allows for improvements in practice that may, in turn, help militaries and NGOs to meet their respective and interdependent goals: for militaries, establishment of stability and withdrawal; and for NGOs, improvement of living conditions of citizens at a grass-roots level.