NGO: Too Many NGO Acronyms: Helpful Or A Nightmare?

NGO: One of the things you will observe and experience as part of your induction or baptism into the NGO sector is the frequent use of acronyms. Acronyms are 'words formed from the initial letters from many words in a name. The word 'NGO' in itself is an acronym from the full name, 'Non-Governmental Organization'. 

If you are new to the NGO/Development sector, you will experience so many words
abbreviated to appear in shorter forms. Sometimes, this can be frustrating or annoying, especially when they are used in assumption that everyone understands the full meaning of the acronyms. As a professional, before you use an acronym in a report, presentation or as the case may be, you need to ensure that you first use the full name, with the acronym in bracket. After the first appearance, you may then continue using the acronyms, since your audience have seen the full name at the start of the report or document.

For example, United Nations (UN), Project Implementation Plan (PIP), Operational Plan (OP). Do not assume that when you write 'UN' or 'PIP' or OP, that everyone reading the report will understand the meaning of UN or PIP or OP. Sometimes, some development workers use these acronyms in such a manner that does not consider their audience. Although, acronyms make pronunciation of long names easy, they should not be used to further confuse your audience, rather than giving understanding to what you are trying to communicate.

Many times, in a meeting, I personally do ask people who use acronyms without informing their audience the full meaning at start to say the full meaning of the name; even when I know the full meaning. This is to ensure everyone in the meeting is at the same page.

If you are new in the NGO sector, please don't feel overwhelmed by the many acronyms. Guess what? This is why I have decided to let you know this in advance since this corner is all about sharing basic learning on NGO and development :-). If you are a professional in the sector already, kindly help your audience out of the confusion too many acronyms may cause them. 
As long as these abbreviations are not used wrongly, they are definitely fun to use and easy to pronounce!

This is your #NGOApprentice corner where everyone has equal access!

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