Panel: The Role of Nongovernmental Actors in Shaping and Implementing Public Policy
(Public and Non-Profit Management and Finance)

Saturday, November 8, 2014: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Enchantment Ballroom A (Hyatt)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Julia L. Carboni, Indiana University
Panel Chairs:  Khaldoun AbouAssi, Texas A&M University
Discussants:  Dyana Mason, University of Oregon

Nonprofit Organizations in a Policy World: The Importance of Incorporating Nonprofits in the Public Administration/Public Policy Curriculum
Shelly Arsneault, California State University, Fullerton and Shannon Vaughan, Western Kentucky University

Contract Responsiveness or Program Effectiveness: Do Contractors Faithfully Implement Public Values?
Julia L. Carboni, Syracuse University and Rachel Krefetz Fyall, University of Washington

Government-Nonprofit Relations By Levels of Government: An Examination of Funding Partners and Resource Dependency
Sarah L. Pettijohn and Jaclyn Schede Piatak, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

The proposed panel relates to the conference theme: Global Challenges, New Perspectives by exploring the ways in which nongovernmental actors shape and implement public policy, with a special emphasis on nonprofit organizations. While nonprofit organizations are frequently understood as influencing policy through advocacy, they also influence policy in other ways. Similar to Lipsky’s (1980) street level bureaucrats who shape public policy through implementation, the discretion of nonprofit organizations who deliver publicly funded services has consequences for public policy, as does the increasingly interdependent relationship among the sectors. The panel examines evolving sectoral relationships from several angles. Vaughn and Arsneault provide a theoretical framework for government-nonprofit interactions that emphasizes blurred sectors and explores the complexity of intersectorality on provision of public goods and services. They assert public management and public policy scholars must understand the role of nonprofit organizations play in regard to the public policy process. Carter examines the role of nongovernmental actors as regulators for government programs in the USDA’s National Organic Program. Using in-depth qualitative data, he finds that nongovernmental monitors respond to competitive environments as well as regulatory requirements. Using contract performance data from juvenile justice programs, Carboni and Fyall examine whether contractors respond to contract incentives at the expense of prioritizing larger public policy goals. They find contractors are more likely to respond to contract incentives rather than pursue publically stated objectives when the two are not aligned. This effect is more pronounced for for-profit organizations versus their nonprofit counterparts. Pettijohn and Piatak examine how government-nonprofit relationships vary by level of government using data from the Urban Institute’s 2013 National Survey of Nonprofit Government Contracting and Grants. They explore whether resource dependency and nonprofit capacity influences relationships. This interdisciplinary panel includes six scholars from six universities and one scholar from the Urban Institute.