This article examines the growth in relations that have occurred between multilateral agencies (MLAs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during the past decade. It identifies three substantive debates in the MLAs on participatory development, value for money, and the role of the public sector in social service delivery that have served to promote greater interest in NGOs for efficiency reasons. The article reviews the experience of NGOs in the Bolivian Emergency Social Fund and the first attempt to create a Social Investment Fund in Guatemala. It concludes by identifying some of the obstacles that prevent the full integration of NGOs into MLA projects, even when good will exists to do so.
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