Skip to main content

Winning a Battle but Losing the War? Third Sector and Social Policy in Latin America: The Case of Uruguay

Abstract

This paper analyzes some aspects of the third sector’s involvement process in the provision of public social services. Using evidence garnered in previous research based on in-depth interviews, I offer elements toward an assessment of the consequences this process has produced not only in terms of the gains and losses it has produced for social policy, but also for the very identity and constitutive characteristics of the third sector. The evidence hereby compiled strengthens skepticism toward the hypothesis that sees a transformative potential in the role of the third sector in social policy in Latin America. This skepticism arises from issues detected by involved actors themselves and that are linked to the weakness of the sector as a whole.

Résumé

Cet article analyse certains aspects du processus de participation du secteur tiers pour la fourniture de services sociaux publics. À l’aide d’informations recueillies dans des recherches antérieures basées sur des entretiens approfondis, je propose des éléments en vue d’évaluer les conséquences que ce processus a produit, non seulement concernant les gains et les pertes pour la politique sociale, mais aussi pour l’identité même et les caractéristiques constitutives du tiers secteur. Les informations réunies ici renforcent le scepticisme envers l’hypothèse qui voit un potentiel de transformation du rôle du tiers secteur dans les politiques sociales en Amérique latine. Ce scepticisme découle des problèmes détectés par les acteurs eux-mêmes et qui sont liés à la faiblesse du secteur dans son ensemble.

Zusammenfassung

Dieser Beitrag analysiert einige Aspekte im Mitwirkungsprozess des Dritten Sektors bei der Bereitstellung öffentlicher Sozialdienstleistungen. Unter Verwendung von Anhaltspunkten aus früheren Studien, welche auf umfassenden Befragungen beruhen, biete ich Elemente für eine Bewertung der Konsequenzen dieses Prozesses an, und zwar nicht nur im Hinblick auf Gewinne und Verluste für die Sozialpolitik, sondern ebenso für die Identität und die konstitutiven Merkmale des Dritten Sektors. Die hier zusammengetragenen Belege verstärken die Skepsis gegenüber der Hypothese, die ein Transformationspotenzial in der Rolle des Dritten Sektors in der Sozialpolitik Lateinamerikas erkennt. Diese Skepsis rührt von Problemen, die die involvierten Akteure selbst erkannt haben und die mit der Schwäche des gesamten Sektors zusammenhängen.

Resumen

El presente documento analiza algunos aspectos del proceso de implicación del sector terciario en la provisión de servicios sociales públicos. Utilizando evidencias proporcionadas en investigaciones previas basadas en entrevistas en profundidad, ofrezco elementos para una evaluación de las consecuencias que este proceso ha producido no sólo en términos de las ganancias y pérdidas que ha producido para la política social, sinotambién para la propia identidad y características constitutivas del sector terciario. Las evidencias aquí compiladas fortalecen el escepticismo ante la hipótesis que ve un potencial transformador en el papel del sector terciario en la política social en Latinoamérica. Este escepticismo surge de problemas detectados por los propios actores implicados y que están vinculados a la debilidad del sector como un todo.

Chinese

本文分析了第三部门提供公共社会服务的一些参与流程方面。使用之前研究进行的深入采访所获得的证据,我提供了这一流程所产生的后果评估元素,不仅基于为社会政策带来的好处和导致的损失,而且基于第三部门的身份和基本特性. 编制的证据增强了这一怀疑论,即第三部门在拉丁美洲社会政策所扮演角色的假设。这一怀疑论来自相关部门本身发现的问题,同时可能与整个部门的弱点相关.

Japanese

本論文は、公共社会サービスの提供における第三セクターの関与のプロセスの側面を分析する。このプロセスは社会政策で生じた利益と損失だけでなく、第三セクターにおけるアイデンティティと構成特性で構築されたプロセスの結果の評価を提示する. 論証からラテンアメリカにおける国家社会政策の第三セクターの役割の変化の可能性という仮説に対する疑念を増大させる. この懐疑論は問題から生じる関係者の関与とセクターの脆弱性に関連する.

Arabic

يحلل هذا البحث بعض جوانب عملية مشاركة القطاع الثالث في توفير الخدمات الإجتماعية العامة. بإستخدام الأدلة التي تم تجميعها في الأبحاث السابقة على أساس المقابلات المتعمقة، أنا أقترح عناصر نحو تقييم لعواقب قد تنتج من هذا الإجراء ليس فقط من حيث المكاسب والخسائر التي تنتج عن السياسة الإجتماعية، لكن أيضا˝ التقارب إلى حد بعيد و الخصائص التأسيسية للقطاع الثالث. الأدلة التي جمعت بموجب هذا تعززالشكوك تجاه الفرضية التي ترى إمكانية التحول في دور القطاع الثالث في السياسة الإجتماعية في أمريكا اللاتينية. ينشأ هذا الشك من قضايا تم الكشف عنها عن طريق الجهات المعنية نفسها والتي ترتبط بضعف القطاع ككل.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  • Abramovitz, M. (2005). The largely untold story of welfare reform and the human services. Social Work, 50(2), 175–186.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ackerman, J. (2004). Co-governance for accountability: Beyond ‘‘exit’’ and ‘‘voice’’. World Development, 32(3), 447–463.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Adato, M., & Hoddinott, J. (Eds.). (2010). Conditional cash transfers in Latin America. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alcock, P. (2010). Building the Big Society: A new policy environment for the third sector in England. Voluntary Sector Review, 1(3), 379–389.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alcock, P., Brannelly, T., & Ross, L. (2004). Formality or Flexibility? Voluntary Sector Contracting in Social Care and Health. Birmingham: University of Birmingham.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alcock, P., & Kendall, J. (2011). Constituting the third sector: Processes of decontestation and contention under the UK labour governments in England. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 22(3), 450–469.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Anheier, H. (1990). A profile of the third sector in West Germany. In H. Anheier & W. Seibel (eds.) The third sector: Comparative studies of nonprofit organizations (pp. 313–332). Berlin: De Gruyter.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Austin, M. (2003). The changing relationship between nonprofit organizations and public social service agencies in the era of welfare reform. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 32(1), 97–114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bettoni, A., & Cruz, A. (1999). El tercer sector en Uruguay. In Estudio de las tendencias del Tercer Sector en Iberoamérica. Universidad San Pablo-CEU and Fundación San Benito de Alcántara.

  • Bode, I. (2006). Disorganized welfare mixes: Voluntary agencies and new governance regimes in Western Europe. Journal of European Social Policy, 16(4), 346–359.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brandsen, T., & Pestoff, V. (2007). Co-production: the third sector and the delivery of public services. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bresser, L., & Cunill, N. (coord.) (1998): Lo público no estatal en la reforma del Estado. Buenos Aires: Paidós.

  • Buckingham, H. (2009). Competition and contracts in the voluntary sector: exploring the implications for homelessness service providers in Southampton. Policy and Politics, 37, 235–254.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chew, C., & Osborne, S. P. (2009). Exploring strategic positioning in the UK charitable sector: Emerging evidence from charitable organisations that provide public services. British Journal of Management, 20, 90–105.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • CIVICUS, ICD. (2006). Brillos e impurezas de un diamante. Resultados del Índice de la sociedad civil en Uruguay. Montevideo: ICD.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cunill, N. (2000). Responsabilización por el control social. En La Responsabilización en la Nueva Gestión Pública Latinoamericana. Caracas: CLAD-BID-EUDEBA.

  • Cunningham, I., & James, P. (2007). False economy? The costs of contracting and workforce insecurity in the voluntary sector. London: Unison.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cunningham, I., & James, P. (2009). The outsourcing of social care in Britain: What does it mean for voluntary sector workers? Work, 23, 363–375.

    Google Scholar 

  • Demone, H., & Gibelman, M. (1989). Services for sale: Purchasing Health and Human services. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

  • ECLAC. (2012a). Social Panorama of Latin America 2011. Santiago de Chile: ECLAC.

    Google Scholar 

  • ECLAC. (2012b). Eslabones de la desigualdad. Heterogeneidad estructural, empleo y protección social. Santiago de Chile: ECLAC (LC/G.2539).

  • Eikenberry, A., & DrapalKluver, J. (2004). The marketization of the nonprofit sector: civil society at risk? Public Administration Review, 64(2), 132–140.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Evers, A., & Laville, J. L. (2004). The third sector in Europe. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • Evers, A., Lewis, J., & Riedel, B. (2005). Developing childcare provision in England and Germany: Problems of governance. Journal of European Social Policy, 15(3), 195–209.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Filgueira, F. (2003). Uruguay. La reforma del sector social: estatismo, desigualdad and privatización by default”. Control Ciudadano/188. Plataforma Social Watch Uruguay, Informe Mundial.

  • Filgueira, F., Papadópulos, J., & Tobar, F. (2005). Los ejes cartesianos de la política social regional: Fallas originales and desmantelamiento perverso en América Latina. Prisma Nro, 21, 219–228.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fiszbein, A., & Schady, N. (2009). Conditional cash transfers. Reducing present and future poverty. Washington, D.C: World Bank.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Flösser, G., & Hansuwe, O. (Eds.). (1998). Towards more democracy in social services. Models of culture and welfare. New York: De Gruyter.

    Google Scholar 

  • Froelich, K. (1999). Diversification of revenue strategies: Evolving resource dependence in nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 28(3), 246–268.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frumkin, P. (2001). Balancing public accountability and nonprofit autonomy: Milestone Contracting in Oklahoma. Hauser center working paper No. 6, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

  • Gerstenfeld, P., & Fuentes, A. (2005). Caracterización del Tercer Sector en las políticas de formación de capital humano en Uruguay. Serie Estudios and perspectivas. Montevideo: CEPAL.

  • Gideon, J. (1998). The politics of social service provision through NGOs: A study of Latin America. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 17(3), 303–321.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gronbjerg, K. A. (1993). Understanding nonprofit funding. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gronbjerg, K. (2001). The U.S. nonprofit human service sector: A creeping revolution. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 30(2), 276–297.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hall, P. (2002). Inventing the Nonprofit Sector and other essays on Philantropy, voluntarism and Nonprofit organisations. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hardill, I., & Dwyer, P. (2011). Delivering public services in the mixed economy of welfare: perspectives from the voluntary and community sector in rural England. Journal of Social Policy, 40, 157–172.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • ICD. (2000). Con-fin solidario. Montevideo: ICD.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kearns, K. (2003). The effects of government funding on management practices in faith-based organizations: Propositions for future research. Public Administration & Management: An Interactive Journal, 8(3), 116–134.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kendall, J. (2000). The Third Sector and Social Care for Older People in England: Towards an Explanation of its Contrasting Contributions in Residential Care, Domiciliary Care and Day Care, Civil Society Working Paper 8, Centre for Civil Society, London School of Economics and Political Science, London.

  • Kendall, J. (2009). Handbook on third sector policy in Europe. Multi-level processes and organized civil society. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Kilby, P. (2004). Accountabilty for empowerment: dilemmas facing non-governmental organisations. Discussion papers in policy and governance, Asia Pacifica School of Economics and Government, Australian National University.

  • Knapp, M., Robertson, E., & Thomason, C. (1990). Public money, voluntary action. In: Anheier and Seibel, W. (Eds.), The third sector: Comparative studies of Nonprofit Organizations (pp. 183–218). Berlin: De Gruyter.

  • Kramer, R. (1981). Voluntary agencies in the welfare state. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kramer, R. (1987). Voluntary agencies and the social services. In W. Powell (Ed.), The nonprofit sector: A research handbook (pp. 240–257). New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kramer, R. (1994). Voluntary agencies and the contract culture: Dream or nightmare? Social Service Review, 33–60.

  • Leal, G. (coord.) (2003). Mecanismos de coordinación de políticas sociales. Montevideo: Frontera.

  • Lloyd, P. C. (1990). Voluntary associations and state agencies at the local level. In H. Anheier & W. Seibel (Eds.), The third sector: Comparative studies of nonprofit organizations (pp. 241–254). Berlin: De Gruyter.

    Google Scholar 

  • Midaglia, C. (2000). Alternativas de protección a la infancia carenciada. La peculiar convivencia de lo público and privado en el Uruguay. Buenos Aires: CLACSO.

    Google Scholar 

  • Midaglia, C., Castillo, M., & Antía, F. (2006). Las tercerizaciones de las prestaciones sociales: un debate político inconcluso. (Unpublished).

  • Mizala, A., & Ross Schneider, B. (2014). Private provision with public funding: The challenges of regulating quasi markets in Chilean Education. In M. Cammet & L. Maclean (Eds.), The politics of non-state social welfare. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morales, C. A. (1998). Suministro de servicios sociales a través de organizaciones públicas no estatales”. En: Bresser and Cunill (coord.) (1998) Lo público no estatal en la reforma del Estado (pp. 59–94). Buenos Aires: Paidós.

  • Nowland-Foreman, G. (1998). Purchase-of-service contracting, voluntary organizations, and civil society. American Behavioral Scientist, 42–1, 108–123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nyland, J. (1993). Little fingers of the state: Aggressive instrumentalism in the Australian welfare state. En: Power, politics and performance: Community management in the 90 s-conference proceedings (Vol 1). Sydney: Centre for Australian Community Organisations and Management (CACOM), University of Technology.

  • Osborne, S. P., Chew, C., & McLaughlin, K. (2008). The once and future pioneers? The innovative capacity of voluntary organisations and the provision of public services: A longitudinal approach. Public Management Review, 10(1), 51–70.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pestoff, V. (2005). Democratizing the welfare state: Revisiting the third sector in democratic and welfare theory. Östersund: Mid-Sweden University.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rossel, C. (2003). Un modelo para armar: el intercambio institucional Estado-sociedad civil en tres políticas sociales innovadoras. Cuadernos del CLAEH, 86–87, 5–44.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rossel, C. (2008). Tercer sector and co-gestión de políticas públicas en España and Uruguay. ¿Un matrimonio por conveniencia? Madrid: INAP.

  • Rossel, C. (2014). Te amo, te odio, dame más: ONGs, participación y representación en el primer gobierno de izquierda en Uruguay. Buenos Aires: CLACSO.

    Google Scholar 

  • Salamon, L. (1987). Partners in public service: the scope and theory of Government –Nonprofit relations. In W. Powell (Ed.), The nonprofit sector. A research handbook (pp. 99–117). New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Salamon, L. (1989). The changing partnership between the voluntary sector and the welfare state. In V. Hodgkinson & R. Lyman (Eds.), The future of the nonprofit sector: Challenges, changes and policy considerations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  • Salamon, L. (1994). The rise of the nonprofit sector: A global associational revolution. Foreign Affairs, 73(3), 111–124.

    Google Scholar 

  • Salamon, L., & Anheier, H. (1998). Social origins of civil society: Explaining the nonprofit sector cross-nationally. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 9(3), 213–248.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Salamon, L., Hems, L., & Chinnock, K. (2000). The Non-profit sector: For what and for whom? (Vol. 37)., Working Papers Series Baltimore: Center For Civil Society Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sanborn, C., & Portocarrero, F. (2008): (Eds.) Filantropía and cambio social en América Latina. Santiago: David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies/Harvard University-UP.

  • Sanseviero, R. (2006). El Estado and las organizaciones sociales. De la « sociedad de la desconfianza » al reconocimiento la promoción and la auto regulación”. Análisis and propuestas. Montevideo: FESUR.

  • Schwartz, R. (1998). The politics of evaluation reconsidered: A comparative study of Israeli programs. Evaluation, 4(3), 294–309.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, S. R. (2003). Government and nonprofits in the modern age. Society, 40, 36–45.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, S. (2008). The challenge of strengthening nonprofits and civil Society. Public Administration Review, 68, 132–145.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, S., & Lipsky, M. (1989). Nonprofit organizations, government and the welfare state. Political Science Quarterly, 104(4), 625–648.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, S., & Lipsky, M. (1993). Nonprofits for hire—Welfare state in the age of contracting. London: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Taylor, M. (2002). Government, the third sector and the contract culture. In U. Ascioli & C. Ranci (Eds.), Dilemmas of the welfare mix. The new structure of welfare in an era of privatization (pp. 77–108). New York: Kluwer/Plenum.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Tonkiss, F., & Passey, A. (1999). Trust, confidence and voluntary organisations: between values and institutions. Sociology, 33(2), 257–274.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wolch, J. (1990). The shadow state: Government and voluntary in transition. New York: Foundation Center.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wollebaek, D., & Selle, P. (2002). Does participation in voluntary associations contribute to social capital? The impact of intensity, scope, and type. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 31(1), 32–61.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zibecchi, C. (2013). Organizaciones comunitarias y cuidadoras: reconfiguración de responsabilidades en torno al cuidado infantil. In Laura Pautassi and Carla Zibecchi (comp.) Redefiniendo las fronteras del cuidado. Agenda, derechos e infraestructura. Buenos Aires: Biblos/ELA.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cecilia Rossel.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Rossel, C. Winning a Battle but Losing the War? Third Sector and Social Policy in Latin America: The Case of Uruguay. Voluntas 27, 146–165 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-015-9569-z

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-015-9569-z

Keywords

  • Third sector
  • Public social services provision
  • Social policy