Top global development NGOs in London: A primer

The Hungerford bridge crosses London’s famous River Thames. Photo by: Allan Harris / CC BY-ND 

London is widely regarded as an energetic hub for international development, and no wonder: The cosmopolitan city is simultaneously the political, financial and — many residents would argue — cultural center of the United Kingdom.

The city boasts a vibrant international community and represents an exciting destination for international nongovernmental organizations. London’s appeal doesn’t end with international development, however. It is rich in culture, renowned for its buzzing nightlife, and is well connected to the rest of the world. It is also home to a well-established research community and globally acclaimed institutions — from the British Broadcasting Corp. to the British Museum.

The quality of life in London can be fantastic, but it comes at a price: The capital remains one of the most expensive cities in the world, despite being bumped off the Economist Intelligence Unit survey’s top 10 in 2015.

The River Thames divides the city, winding across the expanding urban sprawl. London may be continuously changing, yet its central areas remain some of the main seats for development agencies. Clustered around the central-eastern neighborhood of Farringdon are organizations such as Amnesty International and the British Red Cross; Waterloo — just south of the Thames and a stone’s throw from Westminster ­— is home to Christian Aid and Catholic Agency For Overseas Development. The proximity of these bases adds to a sense of a close-knit NGO community.

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About the author

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    Helen Morgan

    Helen Morgan is an editorial associate at Devex. She has a background in human rights, radio and journalism, and has written for a variety of international publications while living and working in Buenos Aires, New York and Shanghai. She is now based in Barcelona and supports editorial content on campaigns and media partnerships at Devex. She is currently studying a master's degree in contemporary migration.