Opportunties for NGOs in social services
Perm centre for Civil Analysis and Independent Research (CAIR) has published a
report entitled “An analysis of the opportunities and problems for socially
orientated NGOs in providing social services and administrative reforms.” The
report analyses how successful the Perm local authorities have been in
implementing all the suggestions of the Russian president on attracting NGOs to
provide social services to the public. Such a step will create competition in
the social services system, improve the quality of the work, and save money.
Civil servants report that all the president’s suggestions in the budget address
have been implemented. According to independent analysts, however,
opportunities for cooperation between the local authorities and NGOs have not
yet been realised.
report notes that often tenders have high requirements for the execution of any
work making it unlikely that NGOs will be assigned the work. Qualified staff, a
technical base, and office space are all essential. As a result the government
is obliged to give the work to state institutions, even if more effective
suppliers exist. The report states that NGOs are on an uneven footing compared
to other suppliers of social services. For example, state institutions get
discounted costs for communal services and pay lower rent rates for commercial
property. State institutions can also get interest-free credit from the city
to the experts a fully fledged social services market does not exist in Russia.
Various obstacles prevent NGOs from becoming full members of the social
services system. The uneven and inconsistent attitude of the government towards
NGOs and the authorities’ underestimation of the qualifications of NGO staff
are some of these obstacles.
by Lina Numan