Book project

Public money, private organizations: the distributive politics of NGOs

Why do governments delegate welfare provision to nonstate organizations? In several emerging welfare states, as the state grows, so do nongovernmental organizations. Rather than being a symptom of weak governance or an apparent solution to government inefficiency, funding private charities to provide public services is a tactic that governments deliberately deploy to engender electoral support. Furthermore, delegation is also a consequence of connections between NGO and government staff that create channels of information that favor connected nonstate organizations. I examine these claims using original, fine-grained data from Brazil and a multi-method approach.