Current Public Administration Magazine (August - 2016) - State, NGOs & Development Experiences in India–need For A Stronger Relationship

Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine

Social Development


Based on the performance of NGOs in the development process they can broadly be categorised as:

(i) Sacrificial NGOs: The NGOs have clear vision, commitment to the work and needy people and aiming at social transformation. These NGOs account for less than 10 per cent of total NGOs.

(ii) Professional and Development NGOs: The NGOs are based on: (a) professional competence and commitment of the employees; (b) undertake work based on people and processes; (c) priority to mass mobilisation; (d) concentrate on the capacity building up the people; (e) clear vision on the concept of the development and organisations; (f) focus on facilitator role; etc. They account for 10 to 15 per cent of the NGOs.

(iii) Xerox copy of NGOs: The role of NGOs is unclear and copies other NGOs. They view that doing any thing for others is development and function as worker. They confine mostly to the activities like charity, welfare and relief. They are directed mostly by others particularly donor agencies and do not have independent thinking. These NGOs account for 20 to 25 per cent of the total NGOs.

(iv) Ventilator NGOs: The elite (Lions /Rotary clubs) undertake welfare activities like organising health camps, supply of medicine to the needy people, etc. to ventilate their urban stress and also for advancement of their business activities. Their work is mostly ad-hoc in nature and depends more on the media coverage of their activities. They account for five to 10 per cent of total NGOs.

(v) Survival NGOs: Such NGOs’ voluntary work is primarily bread winning protection and their activities are undertaken more for their own existence than the poor and the needy. They are less motivated, less committed and also look for alternative livelihood activities for their survival and growth. They are basically selfish and do not have professional competence. These NGOs account for 25 to 30 per cent of total NGOs.

(vi) Pseudo NGOs: The NGOs believe that doing voluntary service is easiest way to earn money. The educated and unemployed youth, retired employees, expelled staff, politicians and others who are interested in money making, start the NGOs and treat them as money making institutions. They mobilise the resources from the national and international institutions for undertaking the programmes. They are hand in glove with donor or government agencies. Their activities are mostly confined to paper work and are known as ‘Letter Pad NGOs’. They also make use of this opportunity to get tax concession from the government. These NGOs account for 30 to 35 per cent of NGOs.


The analysis reveals that NGOs, to some extent, have contributed to improve the social consciousness of the marginalised sections and protection of their rights and entitlements. Though the formulated national policy for networking of institutions for ensuring people participation and implementation of programmes, it has not enabled them to improve the engagement between the Government and NGOs. They (NGOs) take on roles based on their comparative advantage rather than supplementing or substituting the State in the development process. NGOs’ ethical virtues like human touch, dedication, flexibility, nearness to the community, accountability and transparency, to large extent, has eroded. More than the service and commitment to the welfare of the poor, they suffer from the problems like lack of professional competence, autocratic leadership, unethical practices and rampant corruption. Their accountability is mostly to the donor agencies than the government agencies and people. But their functioning is no way different from that of public organisations. The lesson that one can learn from the above account is that NGOs need to re-emphasise on the practice of ethics in their governance. The success of the NGOs depends on the basic philosophy of voluntary organisation-non-profit, democratic leadership, practice of values and principles, capacity building and enhancement of professionalism, transparency and accountability in their day-to-day functioning.


1. Non-governmental organisations are a heterogeneous group. There are many alternatives or overlapping terms in use, including: third sector organisation (TSO), non-profit organisation (NPO), voluntary organisation (VO), civil society organisation (CSO), grassroots organisation (GO), social movement organisation (SMO), private voluntary organisation (PVO), self-help organisation (SHO) and nonstate actors (NSAs). NGO type by level of orientation:

Charitable Orientation often involves a top-down paternalistic effort with little participation by the “beneficiaries”. It includes NGOs with activities directed toward meeting the needs of the poor.

Service Orientation includes NGOs with activities such as the provision of health, family planning or education services in which the programme is designed by the NGO and people are expected to participate in its implementation and in receiving the service.

Participatory Orientation is characterised by self-help projects where local people are involved particularly in the implementation of a project by contributing cash, tools, land, materials, labour, etc. In the classical community development project, participation begins with the need definition and continues into the planning and implementation stages.

Empowering Orientation aims to help poor people develop a clearer understanding of the social, political and economic factors affecting their lives, and to strengthen their awareness of their own potential power to control their lives. There is maximum involvement of the beneficiaries with NGOs acting as facilitators. organization - cite_note-6

NGO type by level of cooperation:

Community-based Organizations (CBOs) arise out of people’s own initiatives. They can be responsible for raising the consciousness of the urban poor, helping them to understand their rights in accessing needed services, and providing such services.

Citywide Organisations include organisations such as chambers of commerce and industry, coalitions of business, ethnic or educational groups, and associations of community organisations.

National NGOs include national organisations such as the Red Cross, YMCA professional associations, etc. Some have state and city branches and assist local NGOs.

International NGOs range from secular agencies such as Save the Children organisations, OXFAM CARE, Ford Foundation Ford_Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation to religiously motivated groups. They can be responsible for funding local NGOs, institutions and projects and implementing projects.

Williamson’s Washington Consensus reforms (1989) are: Fiscal discipline; Redirect spending priorities from things like indiscriminate subsidies to basic health and education; Lower marginal tax rates and broaden the tax base; Interest rate liberalisation; a competitive exchange rate; Trade liberalisation; liberalisation of FDI inflows; privatisation;deregulation, in the sense of abolishing barriers to entry and exit; secure property rights.


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