Governments and Non-governmental Service Providers: Collaboration or Rivalry?

This Special Issue of the journal Public Administration and Development features research led by the International Development Department. Articles are by Richard Batley and Claire McLoughlin from IDD together with research colleagues from other British universities, and partners in South Asia. The Special Issue examines collaboration between governments and non-government service providers in three sectors - primary health-care and education and basic sanitation - in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The central question is: What happens to the independence of non-governmental organizations that work with governments?

Much of the literature suggests that NGOs in a service delivery relationship with government effectively give up their autonomy by comparison with those that maintain their distance from government. We, on the other hand, find that it is precisely their engagement with government that gives local NGOs opportunities for influence.

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