Map Search

There are three ways to use this tool to find articles related to particular countries. Click the country of interest on the map, select a country using the “Browse by” dropdown menu, or search for a country name using the “Search by” option. “Frequency” refers to the number of times the country’s name occurs the article text. To limit your results to articles published in particular years, use the “Filter by Year” option. NOTE: Antiquated and contested country names are unavailable on the map search. Use the NGO Keyword Article Search below to find articles relevant to these countries. Regional search terms (“Africa”) are also available through the Keyword Article Search. If some of the search filters do not work, try refreshing the page.










Keyword Search

Use this tool to search by keywords, which are nested in categories.



  1. Start on the left and choose one or more categories. Hold the command (Mac) or ctrl (PC) key and click as many categories as you need.
  2. Keywords from your selected categories will then appear in the keywords box; select any number of keywords of interest from that list. Note that this is an “OR” search in Boolean logic; the tool will return articles that feature keyword A OR keyword B.
  3. The default minimum frequency of a keyword is one appearance, but you can select a higher minimum frequency (for example, a search for articles in which the term “governance” appeared five or more times). If you wish to use different frequencies for different keywords,you must run separate searches.
  4. Choose the year(s) of publication that interest you. Only years that meet all the previous criteria (Category, Keyword, Lowest Frequency) will appear as options in the menu.
  5. You can then download the results by clicking the "Download Data" link and choose either Excel (XML) or CSV file format.


Basic Article Search

Search by article title, author name, year, and/or journal. Select one or more years using the command (Mac) or ctrl (PC) button.

NGO Topic Search

To search by topic using the InPho Topic Explorer click on the image of the bubble chart below or the button directly beneath the image. A new tab will open to the NGO Topic Explorer page where you will find the Topic Explorer as well as further instruction on how to use the Topic Explorer.


InPho Topic Explorer







About The Data


This portal represents a systematic effort to collect English, peer-reviewed, social science journal articles about NGOs in development. At present we have collected articles published 1980-2014.

For the purposes of this research, we define ‘‘NGO” broadly as any nonprofit, non-governmental organization that works in the development, humanitarian, advocacy, or civil society sector in any country that was not an OECD member during the entire period of study (1980–2014).

About NKC

The NGO Knowledge Collective

The NGO Knowledge Collective

The NGO Knowledge Collective (NKC) is a collaborative research platform for studying NGOs that work in developing countries. Jennifer Brass, Wes Longhofer, Rachel Robinson, and Allison Schnable started the NKC in 2015 in order to synthesize the academic literature on NGOs, which is published across multiple disciplines and journals and covers numerous countries and sectors. This diversity makes it very difficult to provide summative statements about the literature, as well as to find out what’s already known when conducting a literature review or starting a research project. The results of that synthesis of more than 3000 articles published since 1980 appeared in World Development in 2018. The goal of the NKC is to make that database of articles publicly available and easily searchable, as well as to use it to launch further collaborative research on NGOs.

The NGO Knowledge Collective Team