The importance of non-governmental organizations in underdeveloped or developing countries such as Iran is more than anything due to the ability of such organizations in advancing culture in the most basic sectors of society. The purpose of this research is to analyze the role of non-governmental organizations in Golestan province in achieving sustainable rural development.
This research is descriptive-correlative. The experts of consulting firms of Golestan province constituted the statistical population (n=706) of whom 249 were selected as the sample using stratified random sampling method. The validity of the research instrument was evaluated by faculty members and experts. The pre-test and questionnaire validation were conducted by giving the questionnaires to 30 subjects other than the statistical sample. A Cronbach's alpha of 0.88 was calculated for the reliability coefficient.
According to the results, collective performance of tasks, the use of information and communication technology in providing services, the promotion of skills in producers and beneficiaries of the agricultural sector, improvement of agricultural knowledge in producers and beneficiaries, agricultural technical-vocational training, teaching of management skills and administration of entrepreneurial business along with group dynamics were the major roles of non-governmental organizations in achieving sustainable rural development. The results showed that the communicative and economic knowledge factor and economy with a specific value of 6.86 had the highest power in explaining variables, followed by the educational-promotional factor with a specific value of 6.38 and the social-facilitating factor with a specific value of 5.97. In total, about 65.2% of the total variance was explained.
In order to achieve sustainable rural development, it is suggested that non-governmental organizations play their roles in raising income and improving the living standards of farmers, accessing resources and facilities for providing services, diversifying agricultural and agricultural activities, reducing costs and establishing contact with farmers. It also promotes the level of knowledge and skills of producers and beneficiaries in the agricultural sector.