THE THIRD SECTOR AND PUBLIC POLICY Name of Institution Date The Third Sector and Public Policy It is agreeable that the wellbeing of any society in social, economic, and political spheres is interplay of several sectors…
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375). According to Kendall and Knapp (2000, p. 12), the term the Third Sector can also be defined as the range of institutions that occupy the space between the private sector and the government or State; they are neither private sector nor public sector. The third Sector includes registered charities, trusts, social co-operatives and enterprises, voluntary groups, and the local community among others. Even though the Third Sector organizations exist in varying dimensions and entities, there are three main characteristics that unite the Third Sector (Alcock, 2010, p. 7). The first characteristic is that these organizations are value- driven; that is, certain desires motivate them to achieve social, economic and political goals such as the environment well- being, public welfare improvement, and economic well- being. It is noteworthy that this characteristic rarely seeks to distribute profit but seeks to improve the overall welfare of the society. The second characteristic is that these organizations usually reinvest any generated surpluses in order to facilitate the pursuit of their goals. That is why they are considered not- for profit organizations. The last main characteristic of these organizations is that they are independent from the government explaining why they are mostly referred as non- governmental organizations (Keane, 2001, p. 18-19). The Third Sector differs from the state and the market in a number of ways. Anheier, et al (2001, p. 24) note, their differences arise fundamentally from how Third Sector organizations are formed, their values, the scope of their activities, source of funding, and their objectives. To begin with, this essay will focus on what distinguishes the Third Sector from the State. The first distinction between the two entities is in regard to their range of provision; the state has a wide range of provisions while the Third Sector organizations have limited range of service provisions. For instance, whereas the state can offer numerous public services, the Third Sector organizations can offer specific services such as social housing and personal social care. It should also be noted that in some cases, the services offered by the Third Sector organizations are usually outsourced to them by the state. The state seeks to provide more space to the Third Sector so as to increase the Sector’s capacity to provide services that were previously provided by the public sector (Kramer, 2000, p. 20). Towards this end, the Third Sector is seen to have potential in making contribution in the following areas; social and health care services, educational services, children services, and correctional services among others. The second distinguishing factor between the Third Sector and the state is the scale of funding. It is an undisputable fact that the state has far much funding for its services compared to the Third Sector. This can be attributed to the fact that the state collects revenues in form of taxes which is usually in large amounts which help it to fund its expenditure in regard to provision of services (Anheier et al, 2001, p. 13). This is totally different from the scale of funding that the Third Sector has; the Sector has small amount of financial resources to provide the required services. This problem is heightened by the fact that the Third Sector is not- for- profit organizations hence limiting their amount of revenues.
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From this research it is clear that social capital is a critical part of public policy. Social capital greatly influences social interactions in the society and glues together the institutions and relationships. The wellbeing of any given society depends on the nature of social capital; societies with high social capital have better wellbeing compared to societies with low social capital.
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