Reasons why BMC - NGO partnership faces problems
In the NGO meeting on Cleanliness
on Oct 5, we discussed about whether a BMC - NGO Sector partnership
can indeeed work. What are the problem areas? What can be done?
Comments revolved around
- issues which
may be preventing BMC itself from being effective
- issues which
may come in the way of BMC - NGO partnerships
Below are some of the comments.
- BMC operations are limited to
office hours hence concepts like Nuisance Detectors are not successful.
- Unnecessary lack of resources
e.g. too few NDs.
- Lack of co-ordination between
- No time-bound programs and objectives.
- Does not know what to do. BMC
not having set plans or talking about it properly at every level
including ward level.
- Lack of information and instructions
- Appropriate officeres are not
present in discussions and at time of decisions.
- Individual officers are good
but system is not.
- System is not institutionalised.
- Senior officers are open and
accessible but at ward level, there is indifference even if workload
does not increase.
- Programs implemented by adhoc
approval of different ideas of NGOs or commercial orgs.
- Even if something is obviously
being done in a wrong way, there is no way to point it out.
- Vested interests in BMC e.g.
BMC - NGO:
- BMC may feel that NGOs are encroaching
on their turf, while actually NGOs are trying to assist.
- BMC keeps NGOs out of the system
- BMC does not communicate well
- BMC does not like different
- Why should NGOs have to take
the first step?
- NGOs also need funding for their
- Citizens are not coming forward
to help BMC and where they are, BMC is not coming forward.
- BMC has not accepted even simple
suggestions of citizens / citizen groups.
- When someone gives a complete
plan, why does BMC not discuss that seriously and openly.
- NGOs do not have consensus among
- NGOs compete with each other.
- Small NGOs are not well organised
and may be a pain to work with.
- NGOs do not communicate well
with each other.
- BMC should initiate the dialog.
That is more effective. Else NGOs give individual suggestions.
- BMC not yet used to the idea
- Some NGOs are service providers
and BMC sees them as commercial organisations.
- BMC does not understand that
NGOs and Contractors are different. It has to be a partnership
concept with NGOs.
- BMC needs a separate person
or cell that relates to NGOs e.g. having a Social Worker background.
- At junior levels, BMC people
view NGOs as threat if NGOs were to do good work -- human nature
/ public will say so.
- Lower levels feel that it is
interfering with their work even if no real exta work.
- BMC does not like to share credit
line with NGOs.
- Disillusionment due to past
- Attitude of BMC needs to change.
BMC must involve / empower citizens.
- Right-to-know has not permeated
- Policy changes of decentralisation
within a central plan is needed.
- BMC does not see NGOs contribution
as a professional resource. BMC can't see the vision of NGOs.
BMC needs a capacity-building program to get sensitised.
- It has to be a 3-legged partnership
to succeed. BMC - NGO - Elected Representatives. All links of
the triangle are currently weak and need to be strengthened.
- Corporators / Councillors are
uncomfortable with NGOs as NGOs try to make them accountable.
On the other hand, successful initiatives can make the Corporator
popular and help in getting re-elected.
- Unless BMC - NGO - Corporators
involvments get institutionalised, it is highly unlikely to succeed.
When such a large set of points
emerged in the discussion, NGOs felt that it would be worthwile
to study past experiences of BMC - NGO interaction and
learn from them. Study the pluses and minuses. Build
on the pluses. Avoid the minuses. This would help BMC and NGOs
and Corporators to have successful relationships.
Ms. Vinda Wagh
of the NGO, Maharastra Economic Development Council (MEDC), agreed
to be the co-ordinator of this study.
We now invite your views, opinions,
suggestions, stories, and suggestions of who to discuss this with,
this study is also invited.