In the context of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness the role of NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs) in development co-operation needs to be reconsidered. In the course of 90s, the NGO sector experienced a dramatic expansion in most developing countries.
Donor agencies, which were urged to refrain from direct project implementation on the ground while being confronted with defunct government institutions, started making use of NGOs in partner countries in order to get services delivered to the people. Thus, a considerable share of donor funds has been channelled through local NGOs. The Paris Declaration, by focusing on Good Governance, democratic ownership and harmonisation of donor interventions, may affect the role of NGOs in development cooperation in different ways: The new funding mechanisms, such as multidonor budget support and programme (basket) funding, are strongly central government-focused. The Paris Declaration puts much emphasis on democratic ownership, on the inclusion of a wide range of stakeholders and on civil society participation. This requires the NGO sector assuming a strong role.
NGOs, have a range of wellknown and uncontroversial roles in a development process: They act as lobbies in favour of public concerns. They assume a watch-dog role vis-à-vis governments and the private business sector, to achieve more transparency and accountability. And they are directly involved with their own organisational and human resources in emergency aid and charity roles.