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In: Family planning within primary health care, edited by F. Curtis Swezy and Cynthia P. Green. Washington, D.C., National Council for International Health, 1987. 112-4.The World Bank's appreciation of the unique role of NGOs in working beyond the effective reach of government systems in reaching underserved populations and communities has come with its increasing involvement in social sector development. NGO understanding of the needs of communities, underserved populations, and special subgroups constitutes a strong basis for designing and implementing actions to promote social and behavioral change. NGOs can complement the skills available within governments to put their people-oriented policies into meaningful effect. This NGO support may be sine qua non for the success of such policies, and of the programs and projects the Bank supports in the social sectors. The Bank is still developing ways to encourage NGO participation in such programs and projects. Staff in the Population, Health and Nutrition Department of the Bank are directing much more effort now to working with NGOs in family health and population work, particularly in subSaharan Africa where the greatest current challenge exists. At the international level, in order to promote policy dialogue with an operational perspective between the Bank and the NGO community, a Bank/NGO committee has been established. Composed of NGO representatives from both donor and recipient countries and Bank staff, it meets regularly and has proven helpful in identifying mutual interests and common objectives in a number of important areas, including food security. The committee does not replace collaborative mechanisms at the country level, but it has been successful in inspiring both the Bank and NGPs to pursue collaboration more assiduously at the country and sectoral levels.