This paper will show the features and reasons on a social outsourcing initiative operated by the government of India. Part of this outsources information technology (IT) services to dozens of co operatives of men and women from below-poverty-line families. Interview and case study explore was undertaken to evaluate the impacts on five areas of livelihood assets – financial, human, physical, social and political capital.
Governments in developing countries are increasingly involved in outsourcing: contracting out to a third party the proviso of goods or armed forces which could otherwise be provided by the buyer organization. We can illustrate two quite different models used, each of which has some probable shortcomings.
This scheme has Indian specificities and examines shows that social outsourcing may introduce vulnerabilities and questions of sustainability. Overall, though, this paper suggests that IT social outsourcing has the probable to deliver not just significant developmental benefits to marginalized groups but also economic and political benefits to government. It should therefore be moving onto the agendas of international development agencies and of governments in developing countries.
Examples include the Employment Guarantee Scheme used in India's and Argentina's Trabajar programmed. These have undoubtedly delivered important poverty alleviation benefits. The shortcomings of this approach, though, may include problems of sustainability, difficulty of application to urban poverty (schemes have tended to be rural and seasonal, focused on the agricultural "lean period"), and the failure to create any institutional basis for enterprise and independent income-generation.
There are also accusations corrupt diversions of funds, and of creating public works assets that are ultimately damaging rather than beneficial to the poor. At the other extreme is what we might call "commercial outsourcing": competitive contracting out of internal and external services to private sector firms.
Examples include outsourcing of information technology (IT) services and Software Development services by the Indian and Foreigner government outsourcing are solid productive. The shortcomings of this approach may contain the overthrow of public service values and goals to profit-seeking, and a loss of public sector control and accountability.
Outsourcing has also been politically unpopular with public sector trade unions. One may see workfare outsourcing as driven by a developmental and poverty reduction agenda seeking to deliver equity goals. One may see Software Development India and commercial outsourcing as driven by a neo-liberal and new public management agenda seeking to deliver efficiency and effectiveness goals. Both can, of course, also be seen to be driven by a political agenda and political goals, claimed to run from vote-banking to union-bashing to corruption to career enhancement.
Partly because of the problems associated with both workfare and commercial outsourcing, governments are showing an increasing interest in a hybrid form "social outsourcing": contracting out the provision of goods or services to a social enterprise. In the UK, a number of local governments have outsourced activities such as leisure centre management, care services, and community transportation to social enterprises.
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