Structures and Strategies in Relationships Between Non-Government Service Providers and Governments

Richard Batley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)
508 Downloads (Pure)


This article analyses collaboration between governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan in three services: basic education, healthcare and sanitation. It questions the premise that NGOs that collaborate lose their autonomy and capacity for policy influence. It finds that, even where NGOs operate in constraining institutional environments and enter agreements with government, they are able to exercise strategic choices in response. Most of the studied NGOs depended on government for less than half their funding; they all had alternative sources and so could make strategic choices to some degree. Non-government service providers are not passive in face of structural constraints. Although their strategies are not usually explicit, they balance the need for financial survival, the defence of their organisational identities and commitment to their goals-including influencing government. At least for these NGOs, there is no contradiction between advocacy and service delivery. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-319
Number of pages14
JournalPublic Administration and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • service delivery
  • collaboration
  • non-profit
  • advocacy
  • NGO
  • government


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