This thematic guide is designed to help you find international organizations through some of the areas they are engaged in. Each section contains select IOs to get you started.
For the purpose of this subject guide, "international organizations" include (1) intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) which are based on formal agreements between the governments of three or more countries and (2) non governmental organizations (NGOs), also known as civil society organizations, which are groups independent of government and generally driven by people with a common interest. IGOs and NGOs can operate at local, national and international levels.
For more information about international organizations see:
- Routledge handbook of international organization
- Union of International Associations
- What is a Non-Governmental Organization?
Lists of international organizations:
- World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (worldwide directory)
- Northwestern University Library list of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)
Finding publications produced by IOs
- Start with the organization's website. IOs tend to make their most recent publications freely available. They may also have archives for the older ones.
- Many larger IOs have their own digital libraries.Tip: search the library's database listing by name of IO or type the name of the "organization and library" in Google.
- Search the library's discovery tool OMNI: type in the name of the organization and use quotation marks to capture the exact name. When the results display, use the "Author/creator" filter and check the appropriate box. This will lead you to publications authored by the organization.
Finding statistics produced by IOs:
- UNdata (covers a wide range of statistical themes from multiple UN partners)
- UN Comtrade Database (free access to global trade data)
- OECD Data
Finding laws that govern IOs: