There have been a couple of questions about NGOs recently:

The help centre specifies "objective questions about governments, policies and political processes." and matters of policy is defined as "the nuts and bolts of policies introduced by governments".

Therefore, In general, and referring to these questions in particular, when is a question about an NGO on-topic?

1 Answer 1


For the purpose of the site, questions about NGOs are on topic if the NGO has a political purpose. Thus the Nation of Islam is certainly a political organisation, and it campaigns on matters of civil rights and black liberation that are directly relevant to US government policy. The question linked above concerns the political beliefs of the organisation.

On the other hand the IOC is not concerned with influencing the policies of governments. There may be a lot of "office politics" within the IOC, but it is not a political organisation. Therefore this question is off-topic. It would be possible to ask "Does the IOC promote democracy when awarding the games" since this asks about political activity of the IOC.

The question about anonymous is too broad. It can't be answered in a simple and verifiable way.

NGO questions are allowed, only if they are concerned with the relationship between NGO and governments, or the actions of NGO as affecting policy. This is the same idea as when questions about individuals is on topic. The individual has to be involved in politics or attempting to influence policy, and the question has to be focussed on that involvment to be on-topic.

The help pages should be written to clarify that questions about NGOs should relate to governmental policy. The internal politics of NGOs is not on-topic.

  • We have ontopic questions about internal politics of a non-government organization already
    – user4012
    Aug 6, 2017 at 11:46
  • 1
    Can you link to some? Whether they are on topic is what I'm asking. If they are on topic, then the help pages needs re-writing since it currently restricts on on-topic questions to governmental actions, procedures and personalities.
    – James K
    Aug 6, 2017 at 16:59

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