NGO Roles and Anticipated Outcomes in Environmental Participatory Processes: A Typology

Itay Greenspan*, Galit Cohen-Blankshtain, Yinnon Geva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Despite the plethora of research on environmental participatory processes, the forms of nongovernmental organization (NGO) involvement in these processes, and the influence of their involvement on participation outcomes, are still under-conceptualized. This article aims to develop a conceptual typology for NGO roles in environmental participatory processes and to suggest how these roles might be associated with participation outcomes. Following a review of public participation literature and NGO capacities, we present four prototypes of NGO roles along two axes: orientation axis and nature of involvement axis. The prototypes include Entrepreneur, Service-Provider, Enabler, and Partner. We then offer an empirical illustration of the typology using eight case studies across the globe and discuss how the four NGO roles might be associated with outcomes of participatory processes. The framework acknowledges the complex, sometimes limited, contribution of NGOs to participatory processes and suggests practical implications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)633-657
Number of pages25
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • NGO role typology
  • environmental NGOs
  • participation outcomes
  • participatory governance
  • public participation


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