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From the initial letters (the first two letters for the first word) of “quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization”. Coined in 1967 by Alan Pifer of the US-based Carnegie Foundation.



quango (plural quangos)

  1. (Britain) An organization that, although financed by a government, acts independently of it.
    • 1998, Ferenc Miszlivetz; Katalin Ertsey, “Hungary: Civil Society in the Post-Socialist World”, in Alison van Rooy, editor, Civil Society and the Aid Industry: The Politics and Promise, London: Earthscan, OCLC ISBN 978-1-85383-553-7; republished as Civil Society and the Aid Industry (Earthscan Library Collection, Aid and Development; 3), London; Stirling, Va.: Earthscan, 2013, ISBN 978-1-84971-042-8, page 78:
      The strongest link to the State, however, occurs with quangos, (quasi-NGOs), and the many umbrella groups that also thrive on State support. Many of the new parties realized after their Sturm und Drang years that they still needed regular contacts with the 'civil' world and that their civilian support base had been seriously eroded.
    • 2009, China Miéville, The City & The City:
      Various state committees and quangos had had stands; government and opposition ministers had attended.


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