The paper explores donors' efforts to promote government-NGO partnership for the purpose of improving public services. Following a brief discussion of partnership, two illustrations support a relative definition of partnership and its added value. The examples represent alternative approaches to improving public services through partnership work, the choice of which may depend on (1) the will of the partners to change - particularly government, (2) the preexistence of effective public services, and (3) depth of mobilization and social capital sought. The examples similarly reveal alternative approaches to addressing partnership challenges either bureaucratically or through behavioural norms and organization culture. Implications of donors' participation in such partnerships are highlighted.
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