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Sociology 446: The Modern World System


Working list of NGOs (compiled by Paul Gellert, 2020)

  1. NGOs working on global South and global inequality

Third World Network

  • “an independent non-profit international research and advocacy organisation involved in issues relating to development, developing countries and North-South affairs.”
  • Malaysia based
  • Many reports divided by topic area

  1. Large development NGOs

Doctors Without Borders

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Oxfam International

World Vision

  1. Policy Watchdogs

Global Policy Forum

Institute for Policy Studies

  • “IPS is a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more equitable, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful society. In partnership with dynamic social movements, we turn transformative policy ideas into action.”

  1. Mainstream environmental NGOs

The Nature Conservancy

  • “grounded by local experience and leverage our science, real-world solutions and partnerships to influence global decision-making.”
  • Nature conservation focus, through science, purchasing land, and other strategies

World Resources Institute

  • focus on measurable results ( “Count it; Change it; Scale it”)
  • works for market-based solutions, such as  certified sustainable palm oil with RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)

  1. more critical environmental NGOs

Environmental Investigation Agency

  • “investigate and campaign against environmental crime and abuse”
  • focus on climate, forests, ocean, and wildlife

Global Witness

  • “campaigns to end environmental and human rights abuses driven by the exploitation of natural resources and corruption in the global political and economic system.”
  •  Reports on conflict diamonds, tainted land deals, environmental activists attacked by states, etc.
  • list of campaigns by country

Greenpeace International

  • “uses non-violent creative action to pave the way towards a greener, more peaceful world, and to confront the systems that threaten our environment.”
  • Work on energy, food, consumption, etc.

Rainforest Action Network

  • “We take action against the companies and industries driving deforestation and climate change.”
  • Research on forest related industries, financiers, and climate change threats
  • Collaboration with indigenous and community groups

f. Corporate and 


  • For military arms, has the best databases

Land Datasets 

  • A set of 51 datasets which are mostly – but not all -- on land-related issues such as Land Matrix (direct link ) which tracks land “deals” around the world. Other examples of data linked on this website include:
  • Global Forest Watch (direct link which tracks forest cover and forest cover loss;
  • Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer (direct link ), which measures outsider perceptions of corruption

Mapping Corporations

Corporate Watch

  • Works to promote environmental, social and human rights at the local, national and global levels by holding multinational corporations accountable for their actions”
  • investigative research  reports, categorized by industry and by issues (environment, gender, law, etc.)

Little Sis 

  • “We're a grassroots watchdog network connecting the dots between the world's most powerful people and organizations."

Corporate Mapping Project