Government financing of nongovernmental organizations
Sweden funded NGOs' participation on its official delegation to the UN Conference on Environment and Development.
By 2000, 40 percent of the USA's foreign aid will be channelled through NGOs.
Few governments have considered compensating NGOs for their experienced professional efforts in analysing and developing proposals, reviewing documents and engaging in informed policy dialogue -- all of which benefit government. Yet if NGOs and government are to be partners, a radical re-evaluation of what NGOs have traditionally offered governments for free is in order. For obvious reasons, it might be problematic if governments directly subsidize NGOs, but they should establish policies to support NGO consortia or umbrella organizations. If such proposals are based on respect for NGO processes and mutual understanding with the government, NGOs will not be co-opted by governments. In some cases, monetary appropriations are the answer; in others, in-kind support. Nations should also follow the lead of Canada, the USA and the Netherlands in providing fiscal incentives for people and institutions that contribute financially to the work of NGOs.
Government agencies have been the channel for most NGO project funding to date, and the donors have set priorities, sometimes even replacing an NGO's agenda with their own agenda. The source of NGO funding frequently gives rise to schisms, and some NGOs categorically reject support from industry and government.
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