The politics of development space: the state and NGOs in the delivery of basic services in Kenya
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The centrality of the state in the development space of many Less Developed Countries (LDCs) has come under critical scrutiny because of its limited success in fostering adequate social, economic and political changes in the last three decades. Many blame the deepening development crisis and attendant decline in basic services on the inadequencies of the bloated state. The search for other institutional actors to supplement and/or compliment the raceding state services has focussed attention cn private non-governmental voluntary agencies (NGOs) This paper discusses both state and NGOs' roles and experiences in providing basic services. It concludes that the worldwide recession, domestic economic, and political problems, and general effects of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) have reduced the state's capacity to deliver-services. The result has been the intervention of NGOs. This intervention has been received with unease by the state, especially in recent years, due to what can be regarded as competition for legitimacy between the state and the sub-state ictors. The paper concludes that the state is likely to continue to be the senior partner in this competition.