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Partners or instruments: can the Compact guard the independence and autonomy of voluntary organisations?

Roberts, Jonathan (2008) Partners or instruments: can the Compact guard the independence and autonomy of voluntary organisations? Voluntary Sector Working Papers (8). Centre for Civil Society (London School of Economics and Political Science), London, UK. ISBN 0753019663

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Government’s use of voluntary organisations to deliver services, especially through the mechanisms of contracting and the welfare market, have raised concerns about the impact of government funding on the autonomy and special characteristics of voluntary organisations. This study investigates whether key actors from the voluntary and statutory sectors in two local authority areas perceive that the Compact on Relations between the Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector in England will be an effective guardian of voluntary organisations’ independence. It focuses specifically on three key dimensions: first, voluntary organisations’ ability to control who uses their service delivery programmes and how these programmes are run; second, organisational structures and stakeholder autonomy within voluntary organisations; and, third, the institutional and economic environment within which organisations seek funds. The study in fact finds little evidence of adverse impacts from government funding. There is some hope amongst voluntary sector respondents that local compacts will provide a general framework and philosophy to protect voluntary organisations’ independence, but considerable scepticism about practical effect and appropriate implementation. Significantly, compacts are perceived by statutory officers to have little role in moderating the ecological and institutional environment of the welfare market.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 Jonathan Roberts
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2010 14:34
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:13

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