Collaboration between the government and nongovernmental organizations in providing health-care services: A systematic review of challenges

Mohanna Rajabi, Parvin Ebrahimi, Aidin Aryankhesal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Given the expanding range of health influencing factors, increasing expectations from the health systems, and general challenges such as insufficient resources, the health services needed by people cannot be provided completely by the governments alone. Therefore, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)-government collaboration is considered a common approach in health-care provision for different communities. Since the NGO-government collaboration is complicated and usually influenced by many challenges and issues, the present study was conducted to identify collaboration challenges between the government and NGOs in providing health-care services. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using a systematic review method and searching in ISI Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, and Embase databases, using related keyword/terms, between March 2020 and June 2020, studies on NGO-government collaboration in the health area were collected without time limitation. After completing the article selection process, those articles that consistent with the research purpose were chosen for the final analysis. RESULTS: From 4236 initially collected studies, 16 studies were chosen for the final analysis. Based on the content analysis of the selected articles, 70 challenges were identified in the NGO-government collaboration to provide health-care services. These challenges were divided into five main themes: structural issues, process issues, issues related to roles and responsibilities, trust and communications issues, and control and power relation issues and 11 subthemes. CONCLUSION: The present study provides significant challenges by NGO-government collaboration in providing health-care services. Awareness of these challenges plays an important role in promoting such collaborations and enables these organizations to highly exploit the strengths of each other, resulting in a collaboration with win-win situation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number242
JournalJournal of Education and Health Promotion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Challenge
  • government
  • health system
  • intersectoral collaboration
  • nongovernmental organization
  • public-private partnership

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