TSI researcher Karl Henrik Sivesind of the Oslo Institute for Social Research will present research from the project “Outsourcing of Scandinavian welfare societies?” on January 28th in Oslo, showing the changes in employment in the public, for-profit and nonprofit (third) sectors in Scandinavia during an event organised by TSI stakeholder organisation Virke, in collaboration with other organizations for third sector employer’s in the Nordic countries.

In Scandinavian countries, diversity and individual customization are important goals for publicly funded welfare. Therefore, it is a paradox that welfare policies do not do more to promote nonprofit organizations’ distinctiveness and development. This report presents for the first time comparable data showing changes in public, for-profit and nonprofit welfare employment in education, health and social services in Scandinavia. For-profit operators have the strongest growth, particularly in social services. This is due to more extensive use of open tenders and other quasi-market tools of governance. In Sweden, this trend has been greatly accelerated by increasing implementation of user-choice in combination with freedom of establishment and no limits on profit to the owners. The nonprofit sector has a potential for providing alternatives which differ from the public and commercial services. It also has an advantage when it comes to individual empowerment and democratic participation, if the frame-conditions allow for it. However, growth promoted primarily by economic incentives, impedes development of these distinctive alternatives.

A prominent panel will respond in a debate about the contribution of nonprofit enterprises to the Scandinavian Welfare model: Bent Høie, Minister of Health and Care Services in Norway, Ardalan Shekarabi,  Minister for Public Administration in Sweden, and Henrik Dam Kristensen, MP and Chairman of the Danish Delegation in the Nordic Council, and Vibeke Hammer Madsen, CEO of Virke, the Enterprise Federation of Norway.

Virke has followed the TSI project from the very start and contributed to the first Norwegian National Stakeholder Meeting at ISF in Oslo that discussed the priorities for measuring the impact of third sector.

You can see the event programme in Norwegian here.
Karl Henrik Sivesind (ed.) (2016). Towards a new Scandinavian welfare model? Consequences of nonprofit, for-profit and public service provision for active citizenship. ISF-report, Oslo: Institute for Social Research (ISF).

Authors of chapters: Karl Henrik Sivesind, Signe Bock Segaard, Håkon Solbu Trætteberg.