NGO Environmental Education Centers in Developing Countries: Role, Significance and Keys to Success, from a "Change Agent" Perspective

In IRES Vol.4 No.2
Peer-reviewed Article
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Environmental education by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is increasingly important in developing countries. This paper focuses on PPLH-Seloliman, an NGO environmental education centre in Indonesia, which shows us a good practice example of NGO environmental education. What is notable about this center is not only its contribution to the promotion of environmental education but also its financial self-sufficiency-most NGOs in developing countries are highly dependent on grants.

This paper considers PPLH-Seloliman from the perspective of what E. M. Rogers (1983, 1995) terms a "change agent"-that is, a marginal figure facilitating the flow of resources between a "resource system" (which could be information, knowledge, materials, the natural environment, funds, and others) and a "client system" (in this case, the target groups of the center's programs and projects). In this role, with a grassroots approach and political independence, PPLH-Seloliman can meet public expectations, which in turn increases the support it recieves and promotes environmental education.

PPLH-Seloliman has been a change agent between the following client systems and resource systems: (1) urban people and the natural environment; (2) local educators and national and international educational resources; (3) local people and national and international agencies; and (4) the classroom (formal education) and the field. This range of functions has helped PPLH's financial self-sufficiency as well as promoting environmental education at local level.

In addition to highlighting some valuable lessons that can be learned from the example of PPLH-Seloliman, this article intends to demonstrate the usefulness of a change agent perspective in understanding the role, significance, and keys to success of NGO environmental education centers

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Latipah Hendarti