Chapter 2 of the book, Markets, rights and power in Australian social policy, edited by Gabrielle Meagher and Susan Goodwin, and published by Sydney University Press.
This chapter, by Susan Goodwin and Ruth Phillips, considers a range of changes in the not-for-profit sector in human services in Australia, and the impacts of marketisation on it. Over the past two decades, NFPs have taken on a central role in the Australian welfare state, as governments increasingly fund them to deliver human services. In recent decades, funding has been arranged through the use of market instruments, such as contracts and competition, and most recently, through individualised funding. The scale and scope of NFPs’ operations have also expanded and changed, to encompass social policy research as a key activity. NFPs have come to be regarded by government as having important intelligence for social policy because of their proximity to end users, and, as such, NFPs have been provided opportunities to participate in policy processes via their research-based practices. In addition, because NFPs have traditionally been seen as ‘not being in it for the money’, the evidence they produce is largely regarded as objective, or at least more disinterested than that produced by for-profit providers. However, the ostensibly powerful arguments about the distinctive nature and role of NFPs in human services are losing force as a result of marketisation.
Chapters inMarkets, rights and power in Australian social policy: