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Role of NGOs in the implementation of active labour market policies: The case of Finland and Sweden

Thomas Babila Sama (Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland)

International Journal of Leadership in Public Services

ISSN: 1747-9886

Article publication date: 10 August 2012

323

Abstract

Purpose

This is a mixed method comparative case study. The aim of this paper is to find the role played by non‐governmental organizations (NGOs) in the implementation of the active labour market policies (ALMPs) of Finland and Sweden, and also the relationship that the NGOs have with the government of the two countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Two NGOs were selected in Finland and one NGO was selected in Sweden for the data collection. The two selected NGOs in Finland were Jyväskylän Katulähetys in the City of Jyväskylä and Pirkanmaan Sininauha in the City of Tampere. Meanwhile, the one selected NGO in Sweden was Stockholms Stadsmission in the City of Stockholm. Primary data were collected through questionnaires and interviews, while secondary data were collected from literature reviews, books and internet websites. A total of 130 employees responded to the questionnaires from the two selected NGOs in Finland, while 140 employees responded from the one selected NGO in Sweden. The questionnaires were analyzed using SPSS.

Findings

The findings revealed that first, the selected NGOs play active role in the implementation of the ALMPs of Finland and Sweden by employing long‐term unemployed people in the labour market. Second, the findings revealed that the selected NGOs play active role in the implementation of the ALMPs of Finland and Sweden by providing social services, mobilizing local resources and undertaking other types of activities which have created jobs for the unemployed. Last, the findings revealed that the selected NGOs play active role in the implementation of the ALMPs of Finland and Sweden by providing voluntary work to volunteers – some of who acquire skills that can help them to find a job in the open labour market.

Originality/value

The relationship between the NGOs and the Governments of Finland and Sweden was found to be one of partnership cooperation through the local Employment Offices and the City Councils. However, Finland was found to have a more bureaucratic system than Sweden in the implementation of their ALMPs with regard to NGOs. The main similarity between the two countries was that the implementation of ALMPs with regard to NGOs, takes place at the local level through the local Employment Offices and the City Councils. This study concluded that although Finland and Sweden are two “Nordic countries”, the two countries slightly differ in the implementation of their ALMPs with regard to NGOs.

Keywords

Citation

Babila Sama, T. (2012), "Role of NGOs in the implementation of active labour market policies: The case of Finland and Sweden", International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 121-143. https://doi.org/10.1108/17479881211279995

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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