• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Working paper

Tools of Government for Support of SONPOs in Russia: In Search of Cross-Sector Cooperation in the Delivery of Social Services

This paper discusses the set of tools of government enacted in 2009–2013 in Russia to provide support to socially oriented nonprofit organizations (SONPOs). The discussion evaluates the new tools within the context of international comparisons. In particular the comparisons concern the definition of SONPOs as a subpopulation of the nonprofit sector, the economic dimension of the tool kit and the combination of the support measures as a means to foster cross-sector cooperation in the delivery of social services. Worldwide cross-sector partnership in the delivery of social services is used by governments to engage the resources of civic organizations in the implementation of social policy. NPOs quite readily accept government support and espouse participatory approaches considering such approaches as instrumental in pursuit of their social missions. In Russia this approach is considered a serious policy innovation since government policy to date vis-à-vis the nonprofit sector could be described as either indifferent or predominantly restrictive. The conceptual framework employed for our discussion is based on the explanation of the role played by nonprofit organizations and of the motivation for cooperation between the state and NPOs in the supply of public goods provided by the theory of “market / government / voluntary failure” and on the tools of government approach developed by Salamon. We first consider the legal definition of the subsector of SONPOs, and then investigate the newly introduced tools of government support featuring data on the scope of Russian federal government support for SONPOs. Our discussion focuses on international comparisons, showing substantial similarity to government tool kits employed to support NPOs elsewhere in the world.