The best of times, the worst of times: Community-sector advocacy in the age of 'compacts'

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal Of Political Science, 2006, 41 (1), pp. 23 - 38
Issue Date:
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The recent introduction of written 'compacts' between government and community services organisations (CSOs) in Australia offers the promise of meaningful co-production of policy. However, recent research has highlighted that many in the community sector continue to perceive that there are significant constraints on their capacity to engage in advocacy. This article examines the impact of the current governance regimes on the Australian community sector and explores the dimensions of these perceived constraints. The article argues that both government and community sectors must make concessions and adjustments. Governments must accept that the use of contracting monopolies to stifle advocacy has weakened their capacity to deliver responsive services, while community organisations must accept that new governance regimes require new modes of participation in the policy process.
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