Ngos Activities and local government spending in upper west region of Ghana: Are they complements or substitutes?

There is an increasing interest in the relationship between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local governments in terms of social spending in developing countries. However, the current literature on NGOs and social spending, especially for those pertaining to developing countries and Ghana in particular, does not examine the extent to which NGOs’ presence shapes local authorities’ spending on the provision of basic social amenities. This study examines NGOs’ presence on constituents’ opinion about local government social spending. Using the probit regression estimation approach, this study found that services provided by NGOs might be allowing local government authorities to change their spending patterns and priorities. Thus, the presence of NGOs tends to crowd-out social spending in the Upper West region. To the extent that proliferation of NGOs lowers social spending, local government authorities might also be taking advantage of NGOs operations to neglect their constitutionally mandated responsibility of providing basic social amenities in their communities of practice. This article discusses key implications for policy.