The importance of the NGO–municipal relations in developing local democracy. A case study of two Lithuanian municipalities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article deals with the problems of interaction between two Lithuanian municipalities (Vilnius city and Ukmergė district) and NGOs, mainly those working with social services. The article is formed of two parts: a theoretical one, where the model of five attributes of the NGO–local government relations was created; and the practical one, where the interview information from 22 municipalities, politicians, administration representatives and leaders of non-governmental organizations is analyzed according to the above-mentioned theoretical model. While analyzing the interview information, five attributes of the NGO–municipal relations were distinguished: institutionalization, intensity, functionality, mutual trust, and resource dependence. The model is based on normative assumption that institutionalized, intensive, functional, based on mutual trust and in terms of resource independent NGO–municipal relations sustain local democracy. The research conducted in municipalities of Vilnius city and Ukmergė district revealed that interaction between municipalities and NGOs is limited by those major obstacles which are possible to distinguish into three major problem groups. The identified problem groups have proximate relationship, where the first problem group (the attitude of municipal representatives) has an impact on the third one (functionality of cooperation); and the second problem group (NGO activity), as research results suggest, may have impact on the first and third problem groups. The research identified differences of interaction between municipalities and NGOs in Vilnius city and Ukmergė district; it was revealed that NGOs are more independent and forms of their activities are more varied in Vilnius than in Ukmergė district.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-33
JournalInternational Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008



  • Municipalities
  • Local democracy
  • Non-governmental organizations

Cite this