Sunday, March 24, 2013

Civil Society and NGOs in Armenia

Is the existence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) equivalent to civil society? That is, the more NGOs you have, the more civil society you have. What does civil society mean, anyway? Before I moved to Armenia, I have to be honest, I hadn’t really come across the term. Having spent several years working in the non-profit (or not-for-profit) sector in Canada, I moved to the other side of the ocean only to realize that (a) “non-profit” is more often replaced with the term “non-governmental” and (b) the non-governmental sector and civil society are used almost interchangeably. But are they one and the same?