Проблемы развития межсекторного партнерства в социальной сфере: опыт стран постсоциалистического транзита и потенциал повышения роли российских НКО в оказании социальных услуг
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The article suggests to adopt a pluralism methodological approach in marketing science. Using controversy over marketing to nonmarketers problem paper traces evolution of the issue in context of research methodology and discusses alternative methodological approaches and research paradigms.
Involving non-profit organizations (NPOs) in providing state and municipal services in the social sphere (including education, healthcare, culture and social policy, physical culture and sport, mass media) has been a priority of Russia’s social policy for the past several years. However, there has been no significant progress achieved in dealing with this issue, as evidenced by the fact that the need for such involvement has been repeatedly underlined in the speech of the President of Russian Federation addressed to the Federal Assembly (2013-2015). According to statistics, the volume of subsidiaries allocated to private organizations in the social sphere amounted to only 40 billion rubles in 2015 or 1.6% of the total funds allocated to this area in the federal budget. In comparison with 2013, it decreased by almost 15%.
The article presents the results of a research of socioeconomic mechanisms of involving NPOs in providing services in the social sphere. This article considers more specifically the level of real functioning of these mechanisms in the subjects of Russian Federation, through analyzing the indicators of amount and structure of the budget allocations to NPOs. These mechanisms are analyzed on the federal and regional levels through the scope of: a) the rights (and the duties) of the state (municipal) authorities to involve NPOs in providing social services at the expenses of budget funds; b) the procedures of service providers selection; c) the method (tool) of NPOs budgeting.
The article specifies deficiencies of these mechanisms that determine obstacles to a wider involvement of NPOs in providing social services. One of these obstacles is the low "status" of the services provided by NPOs. Today, they are often not formally related to the state (municipal) services ensuring the realization of social guarantees.
Purpose – This paper explores the factors that are associated with a capacity of non-profits to develop social innovations. The study aims to examine factors in the Russian national context with weak non-profit sector with an ambiguous governmental policy toward the sector.
Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on survey data (n=850 NPOs, 2015, Russia). The paper analyses the likelihood of a non-profit to introduce social innovations due to external framework and organisational factors. Regression analysis was applied in the study.
The study is based on a new sampling approach and examines non-profits as producers of social innovations, but not cases of social innovations per se.
Findings – The results demonstrate that the capacity of an NPO to develop social innovations is explained by the following enabling factors: cross-boundary collaborative relations, volunteer involvement, and diversity of the revenue structure. Composition of innovative sub-sector, opportunities and chances of getting into this group are explicitly determined and regulated by the current governmental policy towards the sector. That is that large and established non-profits are more likely to be innovative in Russia, unlike expected grass-roots.
Originality/value – The paper applies a theoretical framework to analyse the social innovation concept in a non-Western context with weak civil society and an influential government. From this perspective the results present empirical quantitative verification of the determinants of social innovation capacity of NPOs. The paper is among the first to apply a reverse sampling principle and examine social innovations via NPOs as producers. The paper produced, for the first time, an empirical description of the nature of innovative activity by NPOs and an estimation of the extent of this activity in Russia.
In present-day Russia, the government’s approach towards the non-profit sector is in many ways ambivalent and contradictory. The Russian government follows two opposing strategies: it largely suppresses independent and potentially critical NPOs, while at the same time co-opting those that function in line with government priorities. The essay analyses the ways in which NPOs have perceived the dual nature of governmental policies and how these policies have affected the non-profit sector in Russia’s regions. The essay argues that, by creating divisions between different types of NPOs, government policies have exerted a negative influence on the internal solidarity of the Russian non-profit sector.