Voluntary Community Organizations in Government Agencies: Changing the Democratic Context Through New Types of Partnerships

Mandell, Myrna & Keast, Robyn L. (2007) Voluntary Community Organizations in Government Agencies: Changing the Democratic Context Through New Types of Partnerships. In 1th International Research Symposium of Public Management (IRSPM XI), 2 – 4 April, Potsdam, Germany.


The public sector has been faced with increasingly difficult challenges. Of particular concern have been decreased budgets and a growing demand for more citizen involvement. As a result, governments in a number of countries have had to look to form new types of institutional arrangements such as partnerships with other sectors in order to address these concerns. The voluntary and community sector has become one of these partners. Voluntary and community organizations have now moved from the periphery to the center of government policy and practice, particularly in respect to community based and local government policy development and service delivery. This shift has resulted in an expansion of the set of decision-makers and the creation of a new democratic context. This is reflected in the literature in a number of ways. Of particular relevance for this new role is the shift from government to governance and working through networks. This paper provides an institutional framework for voluntary and community organizations and others involved in these new types of relationships in order to better inform them in dealing with their new roles. Highlighted are the ways that the democratic context is impacted in terms of: the issues of power and control, accountability issues, the need to build trust, and the need to build a commitment to a new whole. In addition, the authors present challenges and opportunities for managers and academics as a result of these new relationships. Included are: changing expectations of government and voluntary and community organizations, the need for new types of performance measures and the danger of a “shadow government”

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ID Code: 9288
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Voluntary Community Organizations, Government, Partnerships
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Copyright Statement: The contents of this conference can be freely accessed online via the conference’s web page (see link).
Deposited On: 03 Sep 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:32

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