Purchasing Public Services: The Contract-Oriented Model for Cooperation between Government and Civil Organizations – The Case of Shanghai Dapuqiao Community Culture Services Center

in The China Nonprofit Review
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Abstract

Since 2003, Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities have witnessed instances of governments buying public services from civil organizations. This is related to the shift in Chinese governments' functions as well as the background of establishing of a service-oriented government and the socialization of public services. The Shanghai Dapuqiao Community Culture Service Center movement reflected not only the model of governments contracting services to community organizations, but is more a realization of the theory of public-private partnerships. From this example, we can see that in order to effectively achieve the effects of contracting for public services both governments and civil organizations must bring their comparative advantages into play. It is key to preserve the independence of civil organizations in the contracting for public services and to establish an open and competitive processing system. This will require that governments increase their trust in civil organizations, that civil organizations improve their capacities, and will further require improvements in the relevant legal frameworks.

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