Partners For Progress
A panel of experts probes the prospects
of greater partnership among civil society, non-governmental
organizations and the government in the development process
NGOs, Civil Society and Government
Editors: Krishna B. Bhattachan,
Dev Raj Dahal, Sheetal Rana, Jyoti Gyawali, Min
Bahadur Basnet, Kashi Ram Bhusal and Ram Raj Pokharel
Published by Central Department
of Sociology, Tribhuvan University in cooperation
with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
Price: Not disclosed, Pages: 186
With the restoration of democracy in
1990, a new debate has begun on the role of non-governmental
organizations, civil society and the government in the
process of development and in raising public awareness
on various issues of concern.
At a time when Nepal is facing many
challenges in carrying out development works effectively,
encouraging more fruitful partnership among non-governmental
organizations, civil society and the government assumes
added importance. The government in Nepal has taken several
steps to bring together these concerned parties on a common
endeavor. However, the benefits of a harmonization of
efforts are yet to fully materialize.
The Social Welfare Act 1992, the Ninth
Plan document 1997-2002 and the Local Self-government
Act 1998 have underlined a legislative framework for the
operation of peoples institutions, non-governmental
organizations and civil society in local self-government
and in the development process.
One can see many successful experiments
jointly launched by the government, non-governmental organizations
and civil society. In the area of poverty alleviation,
there is a wide scope to carry out such collaborative
With this three-pronged partnership,
many new programs have been successfully implemented across
the country. The demand of citizens of donor countries
for accountability of performance at the grassroots level
is expected to secure better conditions, especially in
matters of improving the life of poor people.
In an effort to study various aspects
of these institutions, Tribhuvan Universitys Central
Department of Sociology and Anthropology organized a seminar
focusing on the effectiveness of the roles non-governmental
organizations and civil society have been playing to address
the concerns of the poor people.
The book, the proceedings of that exercise,
is divided into two parts. The first deals with non-governmental
organizations, civil society and the government in Nepal.
The second part deals with student initiated lecture series
on non-governmental organizations and international non-governmental
organizations in Nepal. Most of the contributors to book
are well-known experts and have tried to explain the challenges
in bringing various institutions together.
In his article "New Predicaments
of Humanitarian Organizations", Dr Chaitanya Mishra
discusses the various characteristics of humanitarian
organizations and their theoretical base. As a research
paper, Dr. Mishra spends most of his time discussing theoretical
Deepak Gyawali in his paper "Are
NGOs in Nepal Old Wine or New Bottle?" critically
evaluates all aspects of non-governmental organizations.
He compares various phases of the development of non-governmental
organizations and their contributions to social and economic
development. Commenting on Gyawalis paper, Ram B.
Chettri stresses the need to change the functioning of
As Nepal has witnessed the emergence
of a large number of non-governmental organizations as
well as international organizations following the restoration
of democracy, duplication of work has already aroused
some concern. Bihari Krishna Shresthas article tries
to explore different phases of development from this perspective.
Krishna Bhattachan discusses the roles
of international non-governmental organizations and disadvantaged
groups in Nepal.
Dilli Ram Dahals paper also tries
to analyze the problems and prospects of the relationship
between government organizations and NGOs\INGOs in Nepal.
At a time when the country is gripped
by a debate over the complementary and conflicting roles
of non-governmental organizations and civil society, the
book illuminates critical aspects of the issues involved
and suggests ways of bridging the gap.
The National Newsmagazine, Vol. 20, No. 44, May 18
- May 24 , 2001.