An Investigation of NGO-Government Partnerships for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS and Malaria in the Maritime Region of Togo
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ACADEMIC ABSTRACT In recent decades, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), both national and international, have employed various approaches to improve socio-economic conditions in Africa. Influenced by neo-liberalism, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are now widely used to deliver social programs and services integral to those efforts. This study examines a sample of such collaborations addressing HIV/AIDS and malaria in Togo's Maritime Region. The analysis focuses on relationship dynamics��"governance structure, communication, trust levels, and decision making��"to gauge partnership effectiveness in delivering health services, as perceived by selected government and NGO representatives. I interviewed leaders from government agencies and NGOs, national and international��"all experienced in such collaborations. They described partnership dynamics, issues impeding partnership success and how those concerns might be addressed. This is the first investigation of public-private health-related partnerships in any Togolese region. The analysis contributes empirically to the broader literature concerning the employment by developing nations of cross-sector collaboration for health service delivery. In Togo, national and international NGOs must be granted legal identity, formal governmental acknowledgement under a national regulatory statute, in a process fraught with obstacles. The study concludes that the Togolese government should systematically develop a framework for guiding its partnerships with NGOs, including ways to build mutual trust among those participating in them. Such action would foster mutual engagement in policy decisions, while also honoring the government's rightful stance as final arbiter. Neither of these steps can occur without more open, effective communication among all involved. The study offers recommendations for helping all parties address reported concerns about communication and trust. In characterizing the dynamics of these partnerships, the study enriches our understanding of the challenges confronting the government, NGOs and civil society in Togo.
- Doctoral Dissertations