Reconsidering the Relationship between the State, Donors, and NGOs in Bangladesh (Distinguished Lecture)

Publication Year : 1999

The growth in size and significance of NGOs and particularly of Grameen Bank and the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) in Bangladesh challenges the idealtypical relationship between the state, donors and NGOs. Such an ideal envisions a clear demarcation of roles in which NGOs compete with other NGOs for resources from the state and/or donors and one in which NGO activities and programmes are regulated or held accountable by their respective funding sources. The emergence of large multitasking NGOs in a relatively small and weak state such as Bangladesh belies this ideal. Grameen and BRAC compete with government ministries for donor funding; statal institutions designed to regulate the activities of such NGOs are functionally ineffective; and international donors face insuperable hurdles in assessing accountability.