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Improving and expanding NGO programmes.

Mukhopadhyay A
HEALTH FOR THE MILLIONS. 1993 Jun; 1(3):8-10.

India has massive problems and is in need of improving and expanding non governmental organization (NGO) programs by broadening the scope of NGO activities, identifying successful NGO activities, and by moving closer to the community to participate in their activities. The problems and experience in the last few decades indicate that with expansion bureaucratization takes place. The institution begins to depend on donors and follows donor-driven agendas. As more money is given by the government, many more so called GONGO or Government-NGO projects materialize. Another problem is that the government almost always approaches the NGOs for the implementation of a project, and there is complete lack of cooperation at the planning stage. The government is considering a loan from the World Bank and UNICEF to launch a mother and child health program, but there has not been any discussion with the dozens of people who have worked on issues concerning mother and child health issues for many years. There is a need to be more demanding of the government about the various programs that are implemented for the government. Very few NGO health and family welfare projects are run by ordinary nurses or ordinary Ayurvedic doctors under ordinary conditions. Since successful NGO work has to be extended to other parts of the country, they will have to be run by ordinary people with very ordinary resources. Over the years, the NGO community has become preoccupied with its own agenda. Today, despite very sophisticated equipment and infrastructure, they are not able to reach the 60,000-70,000 workers and employees. Some of the ideas with respect to the strengthens and weaknesses of community participation have to be shared. NGOs should include all the existing non governmental organizations throughout the country, and have a dialogue with other nongovernmental bodies such as trade unions. The challenge is to adjust the current agenda, prevailing style, and present way of operating and move closer to the people.

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