Reflections on Government—NGO Relations in Asia: Prospects and Challenges for People-Centred Development
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This volume underscores the need to understand the dynamics between micro-level development initiatives and macro-level processes in order to advance the process of people-centred development in Asia. It highlights the roles that government, NGOs, and international donor agencies can play at all levels of society in supporting this alternative vision of development within the region. This phenomenon is by no means limited to Asia, as new social movements working at the grassroots around the world are increasingly seen as the basis for pursuing a global agenda that seeks to address, reorient, and reform macro-level processes and structures for more sustainable and democratic forms of development (Wignaraja, 1993; Ekins, 1992). As this collection of essays highlights, Asian NGOs, especially the more politically-oriented groups, like their counterparts in Latin America and Africa, are gaining greater political space for their diverse range of activities, expanding the boundaries of acceptable political discourse, and redefining state—civil society relations in new ways. In the process, NGOs are becoming more sophisticated and strategic in shaping new political terrain and agendas vis-à-vis government.1 Given the diverse political and legal contexts within which NGOs operate in Asia alone, it is apparent that a wide range of possible strategies are emerging to promote people-centred development at the local, national, and regional levels.
KeywordsCivil Society Development Agenda Indonesian Government Alternative Vision Asian Government
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