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ANSWERED on Wed 13 Jun 2007 - 3:58 am UTC by nancy

Question: For Nancy -- NGOs in Mexico

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 12 Jun 2007 15:49 UTCTue 12 Jun 2007 - 3:49 pm UTC 

Need initial high-level research data on the NGO sector.

Source of data is important. For example, the number of NGOs is from 2005
and from the government agency authority in that country.

NGO data
What is the total number of operating NGOs in the country?
(For example:  see http://www.civilsoc.org/ for an answer to Hungary)
What percentage of NGOs are computer enabled? 
What percentage of (NGO?) population is connected to the internet? 
What are the top 10 types of NGO’s (from activity codes)?
Who are the Top 10 ICT NGO’s?

NGO registration authority
Is there an online database of certified NGOs based upon the country’s
NGO registration authority? (e.g. Guidestar in the US)

What is the primary language of business / commerce in the NGO sector in
that country?
What is the primary language used online?  What is the character set is
used online?
If multiple languages are used within various regions of the country,
are the legal requirements regarding language usage in business

Government policies
Are there any known government or country efforts or movements around
 Examples might include telecentres, adoption of open source, eGovernance
Are there any regional or geopolitical affiliations with neighboring
countries? (e.g. EU)  Are there any political or cultural reasons that
would prevent this country from serving another?
Are there any known government agencies, government initiatives, umbrella
or association organizations, that serve the country’s NGO market or
their ICT needs?

Country / population data
Population size
What percentage of general population is computer enabled?
What percentage of the general population is internet enabled?

Regional differences
Any regional differences by language?
Any regional differences by ethnicity?
Any significant economic differences by region?
Any differences in computer or internet access by region?

I can offer up links to some sites that may be helpful for NGO statistics,
but you'll also have to dig into country census data, etc. that may not be
covered by these sites.

Internet World Stats, provides internet usage/penetration, including by
Council on Foundations: http://www.usig.org/countryinfo.asp - data include
types of orgs, local & tax laws on Ranked 1 countries: Hungary, Mexico,
Germany, France, Ireland; and Ranked 2 countries: Russia, Czech, Croatia,

Johns Hopkins CCSS:
http://www.jhu.edu/~ccss/Publications/cnpwork/index.html - papers from
Johns Hopkins on governing law (but not often market size) for some of our
countries: data on ranked 1 countries: New Zealand, Ireland, Hungary,
France, Germany, Egypt (including in '3rd world report' w/Brazil); and
ranked 2 countries: Brazil, Pakistan, Netherlands, Columbia, Czech,
Netherlands, Italy,

ICNL: http://www.icnl.org/knowledge/library/index.php - laws governing
NGOs in many of our target countries

Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium:
http://www.asianphilanthropy.org/countries/index.html - provides "third
sector" overview, including market size (in narrative form; some links
don't work)




 13 Jun 2007 03:58 UTCWed 13 Jun 2007 - 3:58 am UTC 

Hello again techsoupglobal,

Thank you very much for posting this question.


I can't come up with a definitive number of NGOs in Mexico. I've provided a directory that lists several hundred not-for-profits active in Mexico. And Cemefi, a respected philanthropic institute, estimates 8,500 NGOs, but I can't find any way to access their *entire* database online.


I happily stumbled upon the Spring 2002 issue of Re Vista, a publication of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. See "Philanthropy In Mexico," written by Manuel Arango:

The "CEMEFI [Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía] Philanthropic Institutions [lists] nearly 7,000 registered nonprofit organization in Mexico." (As of 2002.)

I found Cemefi´s site, and currently, according to their "Registry of Philanthropic Institutions there are more than 8,500 non profit organizations in Mexico. However, only 3,000 of them have been authorized by the Ministry of Finances to issue tax deductible receipts."

Cemefi's current directory of "Community Foundations" and other groups that can be classified as NGOs is here:

But just when I thought I'd struck gold, it turns out you have to know the organization's name to find it at that page!

You may want to contact Cemefi directly. They may be able to help you figure out how to find ICTs or other listings at their site.

Here's their contact information:
(This page includes phone and fax numbers, and also allows for a Web-mail inquiry.)

Cemefi collects information about NGOs using an "Index of Institutionality [sic] and Transparency":

Directory of Development Organizations (devdir)

The 2007 Edition of NGOs in Mexico:
The section on Mexico begins on page 4. I don't think this amounts to 8,500 organizations, but several hundred non-profits are listed. (As I'll explain later in this Answer, NGOs, CSOs, and other "third sector" organizations, are lumped together as NGOs. Mexico doesn't have a clear line of demarcation.)

This is a current, comprehensive, easy-to-use directory that identifies organizations by type (e.g., "CSO" or "Training.")


That would be the Ministry of Finances, according to Cemefi, but as we've already learned, only about one-third of NGOs (in Cemefi's estimation) have registered.

There's an overview of the NGO setup at USIG (U.S. International Grantmaking):
But it isn't very helpful on particulars.

See a guide to "NGO Country Codes & Laws- Mexico":

"Any of these organizational forms is entitled to seek certain benefits by registering under the Income Tax Law and/or the Law for Promotion of Civil Society Organizations."

However, "Registration [of NGOs] under these laws is voluntary."


Digital Dividend Project Clearinghouse

For a very general breakdown of ICT NGO activity in Latin America, see Digital Dividend Project Clearinghouse:

Scroll down to "Figure 5: Latin American Distribution of Projects": "The top five, which …include Peru, Colombia and Ecuador [Mexico and Brazil], make up just over 50% of projects that the Clearinghouse tracks in the region."

At Digital Divide's homepage, you can learn how to subscribe to RSS feeds on new ICT projects:

World Resource Institute - Next Billion

Digital Dividend Project Clearinghouse has moved its ICT activity database to Next Billion.

You can search for ICT projects in Mexico (and in Brazil) at this page:

In the category "Activity Location," look down past the regional categories for individual countries that can be searched. Countries whose names are faded are not accessible.

Also see the report, "global digital divide initiative," from "The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (Industry), Committee for Democracy in Information Technology (NGO), World Computer Exchange (NGO)," last updated May of 2002:


(HTML version):


UNETE (Union of Entrepreneurs for Educational Technology), based in Mexico City, appears to be one of the most active, high-profile ICT NGOs in Mexico. (This site is in Spanish and, unfortunately, I opted to study French in high school):

Fortunately, there is a profile of UNETE, in English, at Worldfund (scroll down the page to see it):

"*UNETE has contributed computers, Internet facilities and educational television to more than 3,451 schools serving more than one million students…"

Microsoft has joined forces with UNETE for the "Mobile Classroom Initiative." The pilot program is underway in Hidalgo:


UNETE has also partnered with Hewlett-Packard:
"HP 2004 Philanthropy and Grants"
See bottom of page 15 to top of page 16:

"Since 1999, nearly 800,000 students and more than 7,000 teachers have gained access to technology and technology training through this program."

This spring, UNETE partnered with Redline Communications Inc. and Intel to "establish the advanced WiMAX network in [schools in] Malinalco, Mexico, located in a mountainous region seventy-seven kilometers south west of Mexico City":
Reported April 3, 2007, by Robert Hoskins in Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine.

Regional or Geopolitical Affiliations

This 2006 UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) report:
cites an educational program " 'Alfa TV' or YSP" introduced in Michoacán and Oaxaca in 2003, thanks to an agreement with Cuba's Ministry of Education, "which included teacher training, literacy training and early childhood education."


According to the CIA World Fact Book:

Mexico has:

"Internet hosts: 3.427 million (2006).

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 51 (2000).

Internet users: 18.622 million (2005)."

At Internet World Stats, updated March 1, 2007:
Scroll down to the table to see Mexico's data:

"Internet Usage: 20,200,000
%Population Penetration: 19.0%"

More Data on Computer and Internet Usage

From the 2002 "global digital divide initiative" report:



On page 4 of the Word version of that report:

"As of November 1998, Mexico had an average of approximately one computer for every 1,000 students, across all levels of schooling, including university. Today, about 4,270 of the 130,000 school are connected to the Internet."

"Country Situation," by Olinca Marino, from the Global Information Society Watch (2006):
(Click the "Country Situation" link.)

"It is interesting to note that the eight poorest states in the south have teledensities of only 5 to 10 land-line telephones in use for every 100 individuals (EIU, 2006)."

"The number of internet users estimated by the Mexican Internet Association (AMIPCI) was 20.2 million people (AMIPCI, 2006a), a figure representing slightly more than 20% of the country’s population. In 2005, only 11.2 of every 100 Mexicans had a computer and only one had access to broadband."

According to that same report, Telmex [a for-profit corporation] controls "around 70% of the country’s [Mexico's] internet services (EIU, 2006)."

You may want to check the data in the link "Basic ICT indicators" at right.

The World Bank's report "ICT at a Glance - Mexico":

"Personal computers (per 1,000 people)" rose from 58 (per every 1,000 people) in 2000 to 136 by 2005; "Internet users (per 1,000 people)" 52 (2000) to 181 (2005); "Broadband subscribers (per 1,000 people)" 0.2 (2000) to 22.4 (2005).

The World Economic Forum's "Global Information Technology Report 2006-2007"

See the Forum's "Networked Readiness Index 2006-2007 rankings":
which ranks Mexico 49th (and Brazil at number 53).


Also see "The Critical Role of the Software Industry in Economic Growth, Focus: Mexico," from softwarechoice.org  (2004):

"The Role of Information & Communications Technology in Strengthening Citizen Participation Shaping Democracy: An Analysis of Mexico’s Initial Experience & Pending Challenges," by Robert M. Kossick, published in the "Information Technology in Developing Countries" newsletter, Volume 13, June 2003:

Scroll down to the heading "The Future of Online Citizen Participation in Mexico" for an overview of the (now out of power) Fox government's plans.

"Country Situation," written by Olinca Marino, from the Global Information Society Watch, again provides the most current information:
(Be sure to click the "Country Situation" link.)

Backroom deals by legislators and inter-government squabbles have enabled two major corporations to maintain their monopoly on information services in Mexico:

"...Televisa and Telmex, which largely control the television and telecommunications industries, respectively ... Telmex, for example, controls 95% of local phone services, 80% of long distance, 75% of the mobile phone market and around 70% of the country’s internet services (EIU, 2006)...
" ... Mexico continues to be characterised by changes to laws and approval of reforms that do not include the protections agreed on and established in public policies..."

This case study, "Government Relations: The Case of Mexico City Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy Spring 2006," documents the sense of "isolation" experienced by NGOs in Mexico, while reviewing the Mexican government's disinclination to overhaul the NGO system:

"We concur with many of the academics we met with in Mexico City that too much of the political conversation in Mexico is centered on elections, the electoral process, and bureaucracy...

"... the government needs to reprioritize its energies and resources to ensure quality service provision and support NGOs. However, this might not be possible without a change in culture that allows for NGO solidarity and stronger NGO networks ... service provision will not be effective unless services are available to all in need rather than simply being provided in exchange for votes or party loyalty."

A new president was recently elected, but it's too soon to tell if the Calderón administration will commit to NGO reform.


Projected to reach 108,700,891 in July of 2007, according to the CIA World Fact Book:


CIA World Fact Book:

"Ethnic groups: mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%. 

"Religions: Roman Catholic 76.5%, Protestant 6.3% (Pentecostal 1.4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.1%, other 3.8%), other 0.3%, unspecified 13.8%, none 3.1% (2000 census)."

More on Ethnicity

"Mexico - Ethnic groups," from the Encyclopaedia Britannica

"...the mixture of indigenous and European peoples has produced the largest segment of the population today—mestizos, who account for nearly two-thirds of the total [population]."

"... Maya speakers constitute the majority in the rural Yucatán and the Chiapas Highlands. In the Oaxaca Valley and in remoter parts of the Sierra Madre del Sur, indigenous (primarily Zapotec) communities abound. Despite their decreasing numbers, enclaves of American Indians also are still significant in isolated mountain areas on the eastern margin of the Mesa Central."

More on Religious Diversity

"Mexico - International Religious Freedom Report 2006, Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor," found at the U.S. State Dept's site:


"According to the Government's 2000 census, approximately 88 percent of respondents identified themselves as at least nominally Roman Catholic...

"…Non-Catholic Christians were concentrated primarily in the south" [primarily in] Chiapas State...Non-Catholics represented 29.6 percent of the population of Tabasco State, followed by Campeche State with 28.7 percent, and Quintana Roo State with 26.8 percent.

"The Jewish community claimed approximately 50,000 members; by far the largest number lived in Mexico City..."


Spanish is the national language, but there are some variations by region. See this language map for Mexico at Ethnologue:


For Mexico, IBM uses:
"01412 Windows, Latin 1 + euro"

"01402 Windows, Latin 1"

Latin American Keyboard

Mexico uses a standard Latin American computer keyboard. DataCal has an Latin American layout illustration here:


"Business Etiquette, Customs and Practice in Mexico," at Mexperience.com":

"Spanish is Mexico's official language, and business meetings should normally take place in Spanish. English is quite widely spoken in business circles, today more than ever before, and if you don't speak Spanish, your hosts may be happy to hold the meeting in English ..."

Kwintessential Language and Culture Specialists report on "Mexico - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette":

Scroll down to a detailed guide under the header "Business Etiquette and Protocol in Mexico."


See this detailed overview from the 2006 CIA World Fact Book, reprinted at Global Edge. (Data is for 2005):

Agriculture, Manufacturing/Foreign Investment (which accounts for 16% of Mexico's GDP) and Mexico's government-owned energy business are among the primary industries in the Mexican economy.

Mexico is heavily dependent upon trade, especially "with the U.S, which buys approximately 88% of its exports. Top U.S. exports to Mexico include electronic equipment, motor vehicle parts, and chemicals. Top Mexican exports to the U.S. include petroleum, cars, and electronic equipment."


For a breakdown by region, see "Economy of Mexico" at Wikipedia:
There are considerable differences in HDI (Human Development Index) from one region to another. For example, the "Nuevo León and the Federal District have HDI levels similar to European countries, whereas that of Oaxaca and Chiapas is similar to that of Syria or Egypt."

"The states with the highest GDP growth rates are Quintana Roo (9.04%), Baja California (8.89%), and San Luis Potosí (8.18%).[25] In 2000, the federal entities with the highest GDP per capita in Mexico were the Federal District (17,696 USD), Campeche (13,153 USD) and Nuevo León (13,033 USD); the states with the lowest GDP per capita were Chiapas (3,302 USD), Oaxaca (3,489 USD) and Guerrero (4,112 USD)."

See the map at right for a quick overview of Mexico's HDI by region.


This May 21, 1998, article "Mexico: NGOs and Government Increasingly at Odds," reported by the InterPress Service, and reprinted here at Global Policy, may help explain why data is so hard to find:

According to this article, as of 1998, there were over 10,000 NGOs in Mexico, but it's impossible to estimate how many fit the usual definition of an NGO: "The NGO boom in Mexico really took off in 1988 ... After the controversial elections, intellectuals and politicians founded various NGOs" [but] ... the vast majority of the NGOs in Mexico are registered as civil associations, a category which covers entities ranging from neighborhood groups to professional associations."

I tried searching with "Mexico +civil associations [ACs]" and "Mexico + "Private Assistance Institutions [IAPs]" and "Mexico +IAPs" and "Mexico + Civil Societies" to find more information on NGOs in Mexico, but that didn't prove fruitful. I could only get a few hits at a time, in different categories.

See this "Mexico 2002 Report. Legislating change into action. NGO’s demand a functional legal framework" at the Washington Times's InternationalReports.net:


Estimating the number of NGOs at that time was even more chaotic: "If the new legislation is passed, the number of registered charities recognized by the Hacienda Pública y Crédito (Mexico’s treasury) could rise from 5,200 to 20,000."

That was 2002. NGO activity in Mexico hasn't become any more transparent, so estimating the number of NGOs, and fully tracking various NGO activity, remains extremely difficult.

Not-for-profit Laws - Mexico

You can review pertinent laws in "FOUNDATIONS IN MEXICAN PRIVATE LAW," by Pedro Alfonso Labariega Villanueva, from the July-December 2007 issue of Mexican Law Review:

Here are the codes for NGOs and CSOs in Mexico, at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL):

I hope my research is of help to you. If you require any clarifications or further assistance, please hit "Clarify" on the Action bar to bring up the request form.

Best regards,




 13 Jun 2007 04:29 UTCWed 13 Jun 2007 - 4:29 am UTC 

I'm sorry, I forgot to post the link to information about the four NGO categories recognized by the Mexican government. From U.S. Grantmaking International:

Scroll down to the header "A. Types of Organizations"


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 13 Jun 2007 11:28 UTCWed 13 Jun 2007 - 11:28 am UTC 

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