The paper discusses the main goals of the outsourcing reform to:
- introduce into Russia’s social sector competition and choice of providers for service recipients by creating an alternative market outside state institutions;
- link civil society and the state in ways that could improve communication, feedback and effectiveness of the state’s welfare expenditures;
- increase personalization, responsiveness and effectiveness of social services
- replace institutionalization of people with disabilities, children without parental supervision, and elderly with services delivered in communities, at home or in semi-institutional settings.
In sum, these changes would bring Russian practices closer to international norms of de-institutionalization, social inclusion, and mainstreaming.
Our paper addresses three key questions about the implementation and effects of FZ442:
- How well has FZ442 worked, that is, how broadly has state-SONGO contracting been implemented through Russia’s regions?
- How successful have SONGOs been in improving responsiveness, effectiveness, diversification, and communication between clients and providers?
- Does NGO-state contracting have the potential to transform the dominant, bureaucratic and paternalistic system of state social service provision in Russia?
At the time of contribution, Linda J. Cook
was Professor of Political Science and Slavic Studies at Brown University (USA) and Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova
was Professor of Sociology at Higher School of Economics (Russian Federation).