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Role of Service Delivery Non Governmental Organisations in Policy Reform

NCJ Number
Child Abuse Review Volume: 16 Issue: 6 Dated: November/December 2007 Pages: 367-382
Judith Harwin; Tanya Barron
Date Published
November 2007
16 pages
This study examined the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in supporting the development of policy that enhances child welfare and protection services, with attention to the role of NGOs in southeastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Central Asia.
Regarding opportunities for NGOs to deliver child welfare and protection services, the study found that national and local governments in Romania and Belarus were positive about small NGOs contributing to policy development. A partnership between international donors and small NGO service providers was viewed as more likely to produce effective advocacy and act as an effective pathway for influencing the policy process. A number of obstacles to NGO participation were identified, however. One obstacle was NGOs lack of familiarity with government policy priorities and legislation, which is a prerequisite for a meaningful influence on policy in the delivery of child welfare and child protection services. A second obstacle to effective contributions by NGOs was their lack of capacity to monitor, review, and analyze a project's effectiveness. A third obstacle was a lack of knowledge about the work of other NGOs operating in the same field and related fields. These findings indicate that NGOs readiness to provide policy advice is not inherent in their current features and operating styles. The most obvious recommendation is that donors and others who commission work by NGOs should be clear about their need for their grant-aided projects and programs to have a policy focus. Related to this issue is the need to understand the legitimately different roles that organizations in civil society may play. Also, the process of selecting appropriate NGOs for policy involvement should contain explicit grant-making criteria, which can help minimize the risk of attracting organizations with insufficient or inappropriate expertise. This report outlines important criteria. 1 table and 31 references