Handbook on Non-State Social Service Delivery Models

04 Jul 2013


Handbook on Non-State Social Service Delivery Models focuses on social contracting – financing support to CSOs for the delivery of social services to the most vulnerable and marginalised which should be provided at the community level. The Handbook is designed for national and local authorities, local self-government, UNDP country offices and CSOs and provides an overview of three mechanisms used in practice of majority of European countries for financing of social services which are: 1) budgetary support, i.e. subsidies or grants to the non-state service providers, 2) contracting out the service and 3) third party payments. Based on the existing practice and detailed case studies from three countries of  CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) – Armenia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine – this Handbook provides a set of recommendations for decision-makers, taking into account the advantages, as well as the main challenges for transparent social contracting and the provision of people-centred social services. The diverse policy rationales, legal frameworks, and implementation practices prescribed in this Handbook have one thing in common which is that central governments and local authorities perceive CSOs as key partners in social service delivery.


Key recommendations of the Handbook:

  • Asserts the obligation of the state to ensure the provision of social services as stipulated by international legal instruments, and underlines the primacy of the human rights based approach to service provision.
  • Explains that while responsibility and funding for services cannot be delegated from the government, operation of such services can be contracted out to non-state providers.
  • Explains that the mixed modalities of service provision serve to improve access for people in need of social services by broadening the choices available to them;
  • Explains that sucesful social contracting is strongly related to the processes of decentralization, which especially includes the necessity to dedicate adequate revenues for social contracting as well as the authority to make decisions on incomes and expenditures at a local level.
  • Shows that there are various policy rationales for engaging in social contracting; and
  • Shows that for sucessful operation of mixes modalities of service provision clear regulation of the procedure for social contracting is required wherby five key pre-conditions for efficient contracting of social services has been identified.

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