The contribution of NGOs to the health sector has changed over recent years. Their profile and sector size have increased, and their activities are often different from those previously carried out. In some quarters NGOs are viewed as the best means of developing the health sector: regarded, among other things, as being more efficient and accountable than many developing-country governments. This article explores these developments and examines in particular one aspect that has been relatively ignored: the relationship between governments and the NGO sector within the health field. It concludes by looking at practical steps that can be taken to improve such relationships.
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