1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

State and SSE Partnerships in Social Policy: Recent Trends and Implications for a New ‘Welfare Mix’ in Uruguay (Draft)



In the late 1990s, Uruguayan SSE actors—mostly NGOs—started working with the state in the provision of public social services for the poorest. Since then these partnerships have become more and more frequent, and seem to have become a key catalyst of the welfare system’s capacity to integrate population groups excluded from the traditional welfare matrix. This paper argues that this role is contributing to the growth of SSE but, at the same time, could also be threatening the sector’s capacity to develop its full potential. The strong dependence on resources from the state, the new scenario of competition, the perceived loss of autonomy and the threats to the sector’s identity related to delivering public social services could be jeopardizing the political sustainability of SSE–state partnerships in the long term. Ultimately, this process could also threaten their relevance for building a new welfare mix that could benefit form the distinctive advantages of SSE organizations.

Cecilia Rossel is Associate Professor in the Political and Social Sciences Department, Universidad Católica del Uruguay. She holds a PhD in political science (government and public administration) from the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset–Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She specializes in the study of state–third sector relationships and welfare regimes.