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  Home >> Cleanliness >> Reasons why BMC - NGO partnership faces problems

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 two aspects:
    - 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 departments.
- 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 and review.
- 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. commercial interests.
- 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 with NGOs
- BMC does not like different opinions.
- Why should NGOs have to take the first step?
- NGOs also need funding for their various projects.
- 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 themselves.
- 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 of NGOs.
- 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 experiences.
- Attitude of BMC needs to change. BMC must involve / empower citizens.
- Right-to-know has not permeated within BMC.
- 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, etc.
Sponsorship for this study is also invited.

It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner