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Day 21 – Q.3. NGOs can only play a supplementary role to the state in the development process. Elucidate.

3. NGOs can only play a supplementary role to the state in the development process. Elucidate.

एनजीओ विकास प्रक्रिया में केवल एक पूरक भूमिका निभा सकते हैं। स्पष्ट करें।


NGOs or non-government organizations are entities formed by public-spirited individuals which function outside government sector but closely deal with subjects that are of social, economic or political significance


The function of NGOs are as follows –

  • They act as service contractors, able to work more efficiently and more effectively than government agencies thereby playing an important role in the socio-economic transformation.
  • It brings in accountability and transparency to governance.
  • It acts as a human rights watchdog in the society.
  • NGOs act as channels for donors to provide international development funds to low-income countries or developing countries

In the new governance paradigm, NGOs have come to play a prominent role in development process. However, owing to inherent limitations and nature of development processes their role is essentially supplementary.

1.In a democracy, only an elected government can set the agenda for development. NGOs are motivated by individual opinion while government function based on popular consensus.

2.Development involves a compromise between individual rights and wider social needs. Only the state has a prerogative to take a call on that. Further unlike NGOs, the government is accountable to people for choices it makes in this context.

3.Developmental projects involve substantial monetary outlays and dedicated personnel, such resources can only be made available by the state. In fact, many NGOs are themselves funded by the state. Further, implementation require public authority and coercion which are vested only with the state.

4.The NGOs have limited experience and expertise in social sectors as compared to dedicated institutions of government.

5.Due to concerns of national security, economic warfare and international relations that may emerge due to ill intended NGO activism, the legal system of the country itself limits the role of NGOs to a supplementary one.

However, despite all these limitations, the NGOs have played some leading roles. For instance, International NGOs like WEF, WWF, IUCN has played exemplary role in innovation, economic co-operation, environmental conservation etc. At home organizations like PUCL, ADR etc. has spearheaded the fight for political rights of voters


To conclude, NGOs are important stakeholders in the development process. But they can’t not play the role of state. It is the duty of state to maintain welfare state. Their role though supplementary, is of great significance.

Best answer : john nash

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