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Re: Private = Non-government



Sanjeev,

I am afraid the collapsing of the categories 'private' and
'non-governmental' might have some unintended consequences. Even though
I agree with you that all non governmental entities are in a sense
private, we should still make a distinction between 'private' agencies
and 'NGOs'. Here are some reasons:
	- When NGOs get involved in governance (in the few cases that
	  they have been allowed to), they have some degree of legitimacy
	  associated with their actions. This is primarily because they
	  do not seek profits and they tend to represent the interests of
	  their constituents in some way. However, we can not say the
	  same of private agencies.
	- If we encourage the interchangeable terminology, it is possible
	  that states will try to use 'private' entities to do some of the
	  things that governmental and 'non-governmental' organizations
	  have been doing (eg: manage prisons in the US). The implication
	  is that since 'private' and 'non-governmental' seem to be the
	  same, the legitimacy associated with them is also comparable,
	  which is certainly not the case.

Even though some NGOs indulge in 'profit' seeking behavior, many perform
tasks which neither the state nor the market will take up. Their
independence, conceptual as well as organizational, must be guarded
carefully.

I would welcome your comments on this issue.

chandra


> On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 bdp.india@mailexcite.com wrote:
> >
> > Utkarsh: I am in agreement but not comfortable with the words
> > "managed privately". I would say managed by the local
> > governement.
>
> Local government could have a representative on the School Board and they
> could deal with appeals against violations of the appointment contract,
> but they would NOT manage the school.  That would be left to
> representatives of parents - parents could vote (radical? is democracy
> radical?).
>
> In my lexicon, "private" is Non-governmental. Corporations, Cooperative
> Societies, Societies, are all private. As a citizen, I am private unless I
> am performing a specific government responsibility on behalf of other
> citizens. That is what I mean by private wherever I use the word. Hope
> that the agreement expressed above encompasses this meaning.
>SS

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