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close this bookStrengthening the Fabric of Society: Population. Capacity Building for Sustainable Development (UNDP - UNFPA, 1996, 53 p.)
close this folder6. How Can Services Best Be Delivered?
close this folderSome Guidelines in Determining How Capacities are to be Developed
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View the documentNational Action
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View the documentPartnerships with NGOs and the Private Sector

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 development concerns.

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 intergovernmental organizations.

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 cost-effective manner.

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 operations.