Justifying Social Services: Partnership and Risk in the Alberta Funding Regime

  • Author / Creator
    Tighe, Caitlin A.
  • This research focuses on the funding relationships between the provincial government and the not-for-profit sector in Alberta. Since funding cuts and risk management accounting techniques were introduced in the 1990s, the funding environment has evolved in the direction of enhanced sophistication of risk management techniques. The current environment is a remnant of the changes in values that took place during this period. Current trends indicate a continuation of these values, repackaged under the guise of community and individual empowerment. Recent policy and legislation such as the Results Based Budgeting Act and the Social Policy Framework are reminiscent of past initiatives designed to enhance fiscal accountability, create efficiencies and generate expectations for the not-for-profit sector to deliver consistent services with fewer resources. Drawing on interview and observational data, this project examines the implications of key neoliberal assumptions and practices as they pertain to the not-for-profit sector in Alberta. In particular, I am interested in the devolution of what were previous state activities onto the not-for-profit sector alongside the notion of equitable partnerships, control at a distance through financial accounting measures, the role of evidence-based ideology and the embrace of risk management techniques. I argue that the actual implementation of these key neoliberal ideas often have detrimental consequences for not-for-profit agencies in terms of their ability to deliver focused programming and their need to dedicate a disproportionate amount of funds to accountability requirements and sustaining programs.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Northcott, Herbert (Sociology)
    • Aitken, Rob (Political Science)