A Gender and Youth Perspective on the Development of NGOs in Brunei Darussalam
In recent years, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the country have not only been growing in number and size, but also in terms of their visibility, their causes and advocacies, and to some degree, their influence in society and in policy decision-making. Very little is known about the growth of these organisations, and the factors that might have contributed to the actualisation of consciousness towards activism and voluntarism. Of particular interest to this study is the role of two particular groups of people: youth, and women. Some questions need to be asked in response to their roles in the development of NGOs. Who are the key players among the many youth and women leaders and volunteers in these NGOs? What motivated them to participate in social activism? What key factors do they perceive as important in the development and sustainability of their causes and organisations? What are the issues confronted by these individuals and groups - and how do they address/resolve them? Such questions provide a springboard for further exploration into the roles of women and youth in activism and the growth of a civil society in Brunei. It is hoped that this pioneering study will help shed light onto the exciting area of Bruneian Third Sector development, as well as address wider questions such as: is the growth in the voluntary sector in Brunei a response to existing institutional gaps, welfare service provision, and service delivery? And, what are the governance and regulatory frameworks that have enabled and/or impeded the growth of Bruneian NGOs? The study looks into the values and meanings attached by activists towards their work within the voluntary community, and immerses into the activities of a selected sample of NGOs in Brunei.
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