| By A.Bebbington and J. Farrington | Published in the Journal of Development Studies, Volume 29 Number 2: 199-219 |

Abstract: There are divergent interests in involving NGOs in public sector programmes of agricultural development. Some commentators seek to foster popular participation through such involvement, while others view it largely within the logic of public sector cutbacks. Using material primarily from Latin America, and also from Africa and Asia, the potential gains and risks inherent in a range of NGO‐government relationships are considered. Strengths and weaknesses in NGO development strategies and practice are reviewed, and potential public sector contributions discussed. While closer relationships between NGOs and governments seem likely to emerge in the context of current public sector reform, the form these relationships will assume is less clear and will probably be highly diverse.