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International nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have emerged as major players on the international scene in the post–Cold War global era. By 2010, estimates put the number of NGOs that work internationally at more than 50,000. They come in all shapes and sizes, but two major categories (which overlap) are advocacy and operational. Advocacy-focused groups address many social justice issues—for example, global integrity, rights of indigenous peoples, and gender rights. The more operationally focused groups work on a vast array of activities, ranging from HIV/AIDS programs to education, global health, and protecting the environment. NGOs with a religious character are often termed faith-based organizations (FBOs) or faith-inspired organizations (FIOs), the latter defined to capture a wider group of organizations. FIOs are also advocates and service providers. This ...

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