Shorttitle The research consists of a case study of the method used by an active non-governmental organization (NGO) currently operating in developing countries. The operating method of the selected NGO has been reviewed in light of the characteristics of the research methodology called “action research.” After studying the theory and practice of the NGO and conducting interviews with the organization’s founders and staff, with individuals directly and indirectly involved in NGO’s interventions in Brazil, and with government representatives in Brazil I compared the theory and practice of the NGO to the theory and practice of action research. The results showed that the method used by the selected NGO differs from action research in the conception of personal experience. In action research, the starting point of a social act is the acknowledgement of an oppressed condition; in the NGO’s method, the starting point is the acknowledgement of the potential capability to freely act in a given social setting. However, in all other significant aspects the NGO’s method emulates action research.