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close this bookNGO Guidelines for Good Policy and Practice (Commonwealth Foundation)
close this folderPart I: NGOs: what they are and what they do
close this folder8. The framework of relationships within which NGOs operate
View the document(introduction...)
View the document8.1 A complex pattern of relationships
View the document8.2 Relationships with government: key issues
View the document8.3 Relationships with government: ways forward
View the document8.4 Relationships with funders: key issues
View the document8.5 Relationships with funders: ways forward
View the document8.6 Other strategies to strengthen relationships

8.1 A complex pattern of relationships

Changes in what NGOs do, and in the political, economic, social, and institutional environments in which they operate, have considerably changed the nature and extent of the relationships which NGOs have with others. These relationships are with:

- a variety of central, local, state/regional and local government ministries. The relationships may be at both political and official levels;

- funding and donor agencies, which may include government departments, trusts/foundations, private sector donors, the general public, external (overseas) governmental, non-governmental, international, bilateral and multilateral aid and development agencies;

- the private sector. Relationships with this sector will partly be about funding, where companies act as donors, but also about other ways in which the private sector supports and works with NGOs. While funding and other relationships with the private sector are not common in all countries, "corporate social responsibility" in the private sector, as noted in Chapter 7, is growing;

- other NGOs (locally, nationally, regionally and internationally);

- individual and organisational members;

- beneficiary groups, communities and individuals who are disadvantaged;

- the general public.

Previous chapters having discussed a number of aspects of the relationships noted above, the following sections discuss the ones NGOs have with government and with funders.