To explore the relationship between government and BRAC in the implementation of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme this qualitative research was undertaken. This involved purposive sampling of programme sites for conducting semi-structured focus group discussions.
The government and BRAC staff were interviewed at different locations to find out different dimensions of relationship. The programme organizers of BRAC and sub-assistant engineers of the government play the most significant role in implementing WASH programme. Water and Sanitation committees were found almost inactive. Union parishad (UP) chairmen and members wanted financial and hardware support to cooperate effectively. They have lost some of their bureaucratic power as villagers can now depend on NGOs for development.
The discussion reveals that BRACs long history of development works helped them communicate properly with the government. BRAC staff felt that they lack official authority in their communications with the government officials and community members, for which felt their efforts to motivate behavioural change were constrained. Internal disagreements and status struggles within and between BRAC programmes also impact negatively on the respect and authority according to the WASH programme. There is disagreement on data about sanitation coverage between UP and BRAC. Numbers of staff work in the programme seemed to be inadequate. Staff turnover was high which hampers the smooth running of the programme. Authorization letters need to be issued by the government to field level offices regarding BRACs involvement in the programme. Quality of sanitation products should be maintained high. BRAC should come up with a resolution to overcome internal programme conflicts. Training should be taken and promotional materials should be distributed regarding keeping mutual respect and understanding at a standard level between BRAC and government staff.