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Article

НКО как поставщики социальных услуг: верификация слабых сторон.

Reorganizing the social services market to allow for its access non-state providers is a major innovation in Russia. Welfare mix concepts give a theoretical justification to this innovation. The key element of justification is the demonstration of advantages NPOs have as services providers compared to state-owned or private organizations fulfilling similar functions. However, a more careful assessment of the outlook of Russian NPOs on the emerging social services market requires an analysis of their comparative disadvantages as well. This paper aims at investigating organizational weaknesses of Russian nonprofit providers of social services funded by the state drawing on foreign and Russian experience of practices in cross-sectoral cooperation. The paper first addresses some key comparative disadvantages rooted in the economic and financial foundations of NPOs. The authors then investigate weaknesses related to the level of professionalism in social services delivery by NPOs to suggest some recommendations on measures the government and the nonprofit sector respectively could contemplate to compensate for NPOs’ comparative disadvantages, so that the potential capacity of NPOs to generate innovative solutions is best utilized in the interests of a more efficient social policy. For the verification of theory and for international comparisons of practices of cross-sectoral cooperation Russian sociological data gathered in the course of a long-term NRU HSE project on Monitoring Russian Civil Society are used.