Relationship between state and NGO service providers in South Asia with focus on sanitation
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Non-government organisations (NGOs) have become a critical constituent of the larger civil society, and their activities have been institutionalised into the development process. Under the title ‘NGO’, they are only a few decades old in the region, but they had an earlier life as ‘voluntary’ organisations. In the context of the Indian sub-continent, NGOs evolved from institutions of charity and welfare, mainly within the prerogative of kings and philanthropists, to become stakeholders in the development process and the self-appointed well-wishers of poor and marginalised communities. In their journey, they were sometimes partners and collaborators with the state, sometimes advocates and sometimes adversaries. The state-NGO relationship evolved through various political regimes and was marked by tensions-at times overt and at times hidden.
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