Partnerships with NGOs and the Private Sector
A. Local, national and international NGOs
Non-governmental organizations are actively involved in the
provision of programme and project services in virtually every area of
socio-economic development, including the population sector. Many of them - eg.
the International Planned Parenthood Federation - have a long history of
involvement in population related activities, particularly family planning.
Formal and informal organizations and networks, as well as grassroots movements,
merit greater recognition at local, national and international levels as valid
and valuable partners for development initiatives in the population sector.
The following actions are considered useful when trying to
strengthen the institutional capacities of NGOs:
1. Governments and intergovernmental organizations
can help each other identify useful NGO partners. NGOs can be useful vehicles
for testing new approaches in service delivery or in disseminating information
and contraceptive commodities. Successful NGOs may offer more comprehensive and
better quality services than government programmes. Some governments, such as
Thailand's, find it useful to develop appropriate mechanisms and frameworks
aimed at encouraging, enhancing and facilitating the important contribution that
NGOs can make at the local and national levels in addressing population and
2. Adequate financial and technical resources as well as data
and information necessary for the effective participation of NGOs in the
research, design, implementation and evaluation of population and development
policies and programmes are made available to NGOs by governments and
3. Governments and intergovernmental organizations have created
an enabling environment which assures that NGOs and their international networks
are able to strengthen their capacity and expertise through appropriate training
and outreach activities, thus playing a greater partnership role at local,
national and international levels.
4. At the same time, NGOs and their networks find it useful to
strengthen their interaction with the diverse communities they represent by
educating their constituencies, mobilizing public opinion, and actively
contributing to the national and international debate on population and
development issues, including their complex interrelationships.
B. The private sector
The private, profit-oriented sector plays an increasingly
important role in the social and economic development of countries. One aspect
of its role is its involvement in the production and delivery of commodities and
services relevant to population programmes. In a growing number of countries,
the private sector has, or is developing, the financial, managerial and
technological capacity to carry out a greater variety of population activities
in a comprehensive and effective manner. However, the effectiveness of the
private sector is dependent upon respective governments eliminating barriers
which hinder or restrict its operation.
For the private sector to be effective, the following elements
are usually present:
1. Governments and international organizations have
intensified their dialogue with the private, for-profit sector in matters
pertaining to population and sustainable development in order to strengthen its
contribution to programmatic action in this area, including the production and
delivery of selected commodities and services in a socially responsible and
2. Governments have eliminated barriers, such as export and
import restrictions, which hinder or impede the private sector's ability to
operate effectively. This applies particularly to the production, distribution
and marketing of family planning commodities.
3. Non-profit and profit-oriented entities and their networks
identify mechanisms whereby they can have constructive dialogue and exchange
ideas and experiences in the population and development fields with a view to
improving existing programming and sharing innovative approaches.
4. The private sector considers how it might better assist
non-profit NGOs to play a wider role in society through the enhancement or
creation of suitable mechanisms to channel financial and other appropriate
support to NGOs and community organizations. The private sector, in
collaboration with NGOs, can launch effective partnerships for sustainable
development, especially in those areas of a country where both have effective