The ways in which international non-governmental development organizations (INGDOs) engage with northern constituencies have important implications for their promotion of principles of global justice and equity, their legitimacy as global actors and their capacity to shape a democratic global civil society. This paper focuses on the diverse forms of engagement currently being sought by international development NGOs. Using development education as a case study the paper explores some of the processes of mediation and negotiation that shape NGOs' articulation of global ethics. The paper argues that the diversity of approaches to engagement in the sector presents an opportunity for INGDOs to strengthen and deepen their relationships with Northern constituencies and to support the articulation and embedding of principles of global justice and equity. It argues that development education can play a central role in achieving this.