Nongovernments: NGOs and the Political Development of the Third World

By Julie Fisher | Go to book overview

3 The Impact of NGOs on Governments: The Role of NGO Autonomy

• In dealing with government, it is . . . important to make sure that you
participate on your own terms. This means you do not access money from
government, nor do you sit down in meetings, just to be co-opted. . . .
You must be able to enter as an NGO into relationships where you can
participate in the conceptualization and onward to the implementation of
every project.

-- Philippine NGO leader

• We do not define our projects in terms of services the government offers, but rather in relation to the processes that must be encouraged.

-- Centro cle Estudios Para el Desarrollo la Participacion ( CEDEP), Peru

• The single most important advantage of Christian Church [NGOs] in Africa today is their independence from local and regional politics . . . [although they] have superb government contacts.

-- Karen Jenkins ( 1994, 91, 93)

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACHIEVED through grassroots participation is a remarkably widespread NGO goal, promoted more or less successfully on the local level by hundreds of thousands of grassroots organizations (GROs) and tens of thousands of grassroots support organizations (GRSOs). One of the conclusions of The Road from Rio was that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are also beginning to "scale out" through networking at both the GRO and GRSO levels. Yet in attempting to also "scale up" politically through advocacy and/or collaboration with governments on issues as diverse as deforestation, collaborative support for family planning clinics, or tax relief for contributors, NGOs face formidable political barriers. African GRSOs, for example, are

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Nongovernments: NGOs and the Political Development of the Third World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Ngos, Civil Society, and Political Development 1
  • Notes 32
  • 2 - Government Policies Toward Ngos: Political Context and the Growth of Civil Society 39
  • Notes 69
  • 3 the Impact of NGOs on Governments: the Role of NGO Autonomy 75
  • Notes 99
  • 4 - Promoting Democratization and Sustainable Development 105
  • Notes 132
  • 5 - Subnational Governments and Ngos 135
  • Notes 155
  • 6 - Civil Society, Democracy, and Political Development 159
  • Notes 187
  • Glossary 191
  • References 193
  • Index 227
  • About the Author 237
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