Institute for Social and Economic Change

Established in 1972 by Professor V K R V Rao, ISEC is an All-India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences

People, Government and the NGOs – isec

People, Government and the NGOs


The decade of 1990s witnessed an improved interface between the governments at various levels and NGOs. Questions on the nature of interface and the role of people in the process are, however, frequently raised. This paper seeks to analyse the nature of interface between government, NGOs and people on the basis of evidence from a large number of NGOs from south India. The main argument put forward is that the nature of interface is co-option and collaboration. The relationship between the government and NGOs is contractual, and can be characterised as ‘donor and recipient’ relationship. The involvement of people is still marginal and the interface process is not progressing towards the empowerment of people.

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