Active Labour Market Services Privided by NGOS - The Potential for Social Capital Building In Poland
This paper bases on thirty case studies performed in Polish NGOs providing active labour market services to differentiated groups of beneficiaries. Paper describes behavioural patterns of Polish non-profits which substitute the public service in implementing active labour market policies, focused on high-risk groups of the unemployed. The described patterns emerge in an institutional environment which is characterized by powerful bureaucracy, scarcity of social capital, high level of generalized distrust and an the very low level of support for civic initiatives on the side of public administration and its agencies, still strongly prejudiced against non-profits. In such situation NGOs see their task beyond handing out public money – they are trying to engage into multiple cooperative games at grass-roots level, building networks of fragmented groups of charities, independent experts and self-help initiatives. Forging such spontaneous alliances help to build bonds among different social groups (which rises the level of bridging social capital) and strongly supports the unemployed beneficiaries themselves, giving them access to new social networks. On the other side, the strategy in which public employment services and local authorities are (self)excluded ends up with the impossibility to develop a long-term employment policy both on local and central level. Thus the only win-win strategy is the one in which the public – non-profit cooperation is enhanced through the effort of self-limiting on both sides. We support the thesis that engaging public agencies into cooperative games with NGOs and subsequent empowering of nonprofits should lead towards remodelling of the whole labour market policy in Poland and improve the quality of employment services.
|Date of creation:||2007|
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