What happens to sustainability when donors don’t trust the government anymore?

I am trying to get my head around to what happens to a cooperation programme when donors refuse to give direct funds to the government. One big argument of funding government to do good things is that it builds capacity and hence leaves something behind – in theory at least.
When donors refuse to do that, and insist that development funds can only go to NGOs, it becomes really difficult to continue to support government capacity – and how is that going to leave government more capable to handle services by itself down the line (at one point)? Funding NGO projects can easily just get everyone into a cycle of aid dependency, and certainly won’t build better government.
Is this the moment where one should go all the way down to the community level? And where does government start, i.e. where does support have to stop not to violate donor conditions? It certainly is not a very straightforward situation, and needs careful – and some really good creative – thinking to not make blocked aid a more serious problem than it already is. . . .

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