Integrating and Streamlining Community-Based Non-Governmental Organization Service Delivery

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Integrating and Streamlining Community-Based Non-Governmental Organization Service Delivery:  A Tools Model, PART ONE

Non-profits, for profits, and governments have evolved to find a place within the human and social service delivery systems that provide frameworks and resources to America’s communities.  These vast arrays of third party partnerships, collaborations, and networks have now created a reliance, or indirect extension, of service delivery for public financed projects, programs, and operations (Salamon, 2002).  In their wake, the emphasis on public administration problems has shifted from the government agency to third party providers.  This paradigmatic change has fashioned a much more complicated command and control structure creating struggles with oversight, integration, and ultimately the efficacy of these expensive social service programs (Milward & Provan, 2000).

Much of the underlying problem is not the identification, levels, or financial implications of these services.  The true challenges are in identifying appropriate providers with the correct attributes and complimenting service delivery approaches to ensure a synergistic mix of resources and support of focused public direction (Evers, 1995; Martin, 2001).  Typical problems surface with individual organizational territorial concerns and self-interests as agencies grapple for power and control that inevitably builds barriers to true service integration (Hoge & Howenstine, 1997).  Resolutions advance through alternative solutions or service designs that streamline and integrate services using genuine collaborative relationships, networks, and processes.  These long overdue understandings can ultimately increase civil society, social capital, community capacity, and social service delivery efficacy within our local communities (Martin, 2004).

This analysis focuses on these third party relationships and the development of a framework for improving service integration and delivery issues within local community social services.  This assessment will review and assess the problem through social indicators (SIs) and offer suggestions how these measures may be employed to develop goals, priorities, and strategic plans within the local community.  Innovative tools of government or governance will also be analyzed to provide a transformed perspective which with to modify, change, or add complimentary social service programs and initiatives.  This approach may provide the genesis for new collaborations, partnerships, and networks that can offer a more cost-effective and integrated model for human and social services in an effort to meet the emerging local public social needs.

Social Indicators

Many organizations have for many years diligently labored to develop collaborations, partnerships, and networks to further the social service agenda within the community as well as improve the quality of life for its citizens.  One of the primary purposes of these tools are an annual snapshot of a respective community.  This methodology attempts to qualify and quantify specific area-based and public defined social indicators through annual data collection of over 150 specific elements.  Many of these data elements are static through the years, but can be easily replaced, as the stakeholders deem necessary.  The goal of which is to establish priorities, access to services, and direction for sustainment or improvement of local health and human service delivery (Stolzenberg et al., 2003).

While this data collection effort is essential in providing some preliminary guidance, it does not offer definitive direction on imperative community-based issues.  Brown and Corbett (1997) explain that there are practical considerations for using SIs:  knowledge base development, monitoring outcomes, goal setting, accountability, and evaluation of program effectiveness.  When using SIs, a lack of improvement suggests a more integrated bottom-up approach is required within the community planning processes (Eschenfelder, 2010).  However, it seems prudent to address that while a bottom-up approach is preferable to embrace this method should not be considered an avenue to provide or galvanize consensus.  While a broad representation is helpful, the essence of effectively using SIs is making positive changes to community outcomes through improving prevailing community practices, not necessarily finding consensus (Cobb & Rixford, 1998).

Through this lens, SIs can be used to guide the process of managing for results by adjusting service delivery provider and city or county strategic plans to compliment the ongoing needs of the community as channeled by these tools.  It is critical that all area strategic plans be fully integrated.  Any lack of integration will highlight a potential flawed synthesis of social services across the communities and create potential barriers for eliminating duplicative services within these various community-based social service delivery systems.  A failure to acknowledge the SIs and management tools in developing integrated plans and programs as well as promoting competing and duplicative services and funding streams will create waste and non-targeted services within the respective community.

Figure 1 depicts the framework for a suggested integration of SIs within a local system that provides results oriented strategy.  It is essential to understand that SIs do not measure the viability of any one agency’s services or delivery mechanisms, but an overall sign of the community’s ability to meet the local public’s needs (Aristigueta et al., 2001).  Complete integration of the citizen’s role in the development and implementation of the objectives using SIs is a foundational piece for measuring the public need and providing a structure of accountability throughout the entire process, not just a token portion of the system (Aristigueta et al., 2001).  The utility of the conceptualizations of social health within a community can be applied to policymaking, agency management, professional development, and most importantly to increase the public consciousness.  These applications will not happen instantly within a community.  However, evolution will occur if SIs are integrated through the appropriate use of tools of government and a public involvement that is consistent with growth in a healthy, committed, and focused social and human service community (Armstrong et al., 2002).

Public Role System Accountability

Provide community perspective of needs Community Goals & Strategic Plans Notify community and align community goals with that of agencies
Help select appropriate indicators and advocate for needs Social Indicators Inform of social trends, challenges, as they relate to public goals
Provide citizen perspective of strategic needs for plans Agency Strategic Plans Instruct the public of strategies and structures of agencies
Indicate public desires to measure effectiveness through agency measures Agency Performance Measures Advise community of agency efforts for program improvements and changes
Provide input on program selection & how to evaluate Program Evaluation Ensure public is well-versed of program execution and funding

Figure 1.  Framework for Public Inclusion and Accountability within Social Indicator Use and System Management.  Note:  Adapted from Aristigueta et al., 2001.

The effective use of SIs requires several factors that must unite to create any resemblance of success.  As one would expect the challenges and potential barriers are limitless.  An essential first step is to determine if the will to change exists among associated governments, agencies, and taxpayers.  This concomitant philosophical perspective is the glue of integration and the compass to focus the direction of SI related programs (Aristigueta et al., 2001).  The development of this initiative is progressive and sequential in nature and requires the concurrent support of all parties.  It requires buy-in from politicians who wish to alter and reduce this social service epicenter dilemma, but also business owners and even residents must seek a change to the conditions that are negatively affecting all facets of business and revitalization attempts (Zaffiro-Kean, 2011).

SIs can also be considered a tool of governance as they may be used by local governments or communities to assess the local macro social trends.  Like most tools, training and education is essential for their proper implementation and use within the community.  Lack of or inept training of this tool can result in frustrating, poor policy development and implementation or the misuse of these indicators, all of which could retard or stop progress of community social planning (Brown & Corbett, 1997).  Although SIs are critical in public policy making and public sector management it is through the vehicle of appropriate tools of government and their timely use that will ultimately and effectively compliment, support, and stimulate progress towards these public social goals (Brown & Corbett, 1997).

Tools of Government

Salamon (2002) explains an evolution has occurred from hierarchical government structures and processes to that of a tool-oriented approach that embraces the devolution of the more rigid vertical frameworks to that of horizontal systems of collaboration, partnerships, and networks between public and private organizations.  The thematic principle being to decentralize control and power to the level necessary to provide more efficacy in community policy, service, and quality of life improvement as well as sustainability in a more customized style that is supportive of  unique community needs (Frahm & Martin, 2009).

As government has created third parties, sectors, proxies, non-governmental governance, or networks to execute, disseminate, and manage public funded social services it has advanced a set of governance tools to link, integrate, or connect these provider entities with the local market (Milward & Provan, 2000; Salamon, 2002).  These changes offer many complimenting approaches to improve service delivery results such as outcomes-based accountability, benchmarking, comprehensive community initiatives, and market-oriented competitive models.  Regardless of what expression or tool is used, the focus has now shifted the greater responsibility to the local governments for the planning and development.  These increased responsibilities require clearly articulated and high-quality SIs that can effectively employ selected tools of government to meet the focused public needs (Brown & Corbett, 1997).

The selection of the appropriate tools, while not a simple task, should be made while considering effectiveness, efficiency, equity, manageability, and legitimacy.  The proper tool should assess varying dimensions that may influence outcomes.  Tool choices afford a vast array of advantages and disadvantages for each that must be considered.  Dimensions to ponder regarding tool selection and subsequent consequences include coerciveness, directness, automacity, and visibility.  Each of these characteristics should be analyzed to assure the best possible tool fit and necessary results within this new framework of governance (Salamon, 2002).

Direct Tools

Direct tools are employed to provide or withhold a good or service through government delivery, intervention, or relationship.  Government sponsored principal-agent relationships, one of these direct tools, provide the opportunity to expand the managerial reach of government to monitor and guide the use of social service dollars and subsequently influence agents in the collective purposes of meeting public social and human needs (Salamon, 2002).  The principal-agent approach provides one method to coerce or influence agents to meet the collective community needs, common purpose, and reduce and streamline service delivery options (Salamon, 2002).  The government sponsored principal-agent scheme also has the capability to control opportunistic agency behaviors while focusing agency expertise upon a specific community agenda issue generally through contracting and subsequent oversight (Van Slyke, 2006).

The over-arching purpose of employing the third party sector is to evolve hierarchical government into a more focused, yet flexible network of community-based service delivery systems.  Management and oversight of these decentralized programs is becoming increasingly important and complex.  Concerns regarding the ability to guide these complex programs are deepening especially in those communities that continue to show lack of results, sustainability, duplicative services, and service gaps as measured by social identifiers, trends, and outcomes (Milward & Provan, 2000).  These delivery system shortcomings suggest the need for a government sponsored core agency or principal-agent option as a tool to ensure true integration of networks that are capable of meeting the public market mandates of the respective community.  Structural and oversight changes to the community social service system has the capabilities to provide leadership and consistency to ensure fairness and equitable distribution of community resources as deemed relevant by the citizens, not the individual agency executives (Hoge & Howenstine, 1997).  Figure 2 depicts an example of a government sponsored lead agency, principal-agent structure capable of supporting the leadership, control, and compliance necessary to allow the evolution of innovative change as a model of reform in social services.  The number, levels, and size of the principal-agent structure is flexible and can be framed to support multiple or different social trends within a geographical area.

DCF Government Sponsored Lead-Agency*

Vendor

Vendor

Vendor

Vendor

Vendor

Vendor

Figure 2.  Lead-Agency, Principal-Agent Structure Example.  Adapted from Hoge & Howenstine, 1997.* Department of Children and Families (DCF).

A lack of true integration of services and networks has also become a faddish retort for human and social service delivery problems.  Generally, non-integrated services are perceived as non-appealing, truculent, and not capable of meeting the social needs of the clients or public.  To overcome these barriers the requirement for a unified, local, coordinative, centralized system with single access are believed to be the features necessary for true integration.  The literature proposes that any changes to these challenges is up to the political and economic power within the local communities, further supporting the argument for a government sponsored principal-agent to streamline delivery processes (Martin et al., 1983).

Theoretical Implications

In an effort to explain the implications of the governance paradigm and its application to community-based issues, the utilization of existing interdisciplinary theory suggests new connections among concepts and constructs.  These affiliations can contribute organization and logic to community relationships and behaviors, types and principles of government or governance, conflict, control, boundary making, leadership, learning, as well as market interactions (Dekker, 2007; Halley, 2011; Hill & Lynn, 2003; Salamon, 2002; Van der Platt & Barrett, 2005).  Theory consolidates knowledge, possible applications, and provides the foundational underpinnings for this research.  Theory also aids in the clarity of understanding that through these principles, people and communities can set and accomplish goals that create the desired and appropriate social changes within local communities (Shoemaker et al., 2004).

Principal-agent theory is enmeshed within the relationship between the governing principle and social service providers.  While remaining focused on control and compliance the authority principal-agent theory infuses incentives to guide providers to the best set of common processes necessary for integration and service distribution (Van Slyke, 2006).  The theory also addresses relational problems within these entities and exogenous forces that can affect service providers (Hill & Lynn, 2003).  Principal-agent theory also connects the direct and indirect tools of governance through relationships by finding exchanges of incentives for desired actions or organizational functions and change (Salamon, 2002).

This framework also has drawbacks as agents may have more power than the principal because of greater knowledge and the reluctance to share.  Motivations of the service provider are inextricably laced to the overall success of this relationship and must be dealt with in a proportioned manner of control by the principal (Hill & Lynn, 2003; Salamon, 2002).  Patience is essential as this type of trust and reputational relationship will only be built over time between the principal and agent (Van Slyke, 2006).  Structural considerations and their complexity in delivering integrated, multi-vendor services within a community can create contractual challenges that can lead to both management and provider imbalances that must be addressed.  It is crucial to understand who is rowing and steering in these delicate and composite relationships and ultimately how to measure the overall progress of the particular civic social service delivery design (Lamothe, 2011).

Government Sponsored Principal-Agent or Lead Agency Network Approach

Market-based, make-or-buy, or lead agency approaches are varying configurations of the principal-agent tool.  The market-based service delivery structure, although attractive,  is limited in its ability to ascertain market competition and what type of organizational structures or frameworks provide the best oversight to maximum the  market-based competition (Moe, 1984).  The market approach assumes that the principal is a smart buyer that can pin point and match needs with vendors while effectively monitoring agent behaviors and outcomes.  Experts in market based principal-agent methodologies comment that true competition rarely exists and that principals either shirk or ignore their responsibilities in a competitive market environment.  This shortcoming incapacitates this type of social service provision (Lamothe, 2011).

The make-or-buy approach suggests greater ability to control agent issues and related costs compared to the market model.  However, the make-or-buy approach lacks the specifics to explain or define the organizational structure necessary to eliminate or better control non-competitive agent behaviors and goals.  These weaknesses assume that the agents are essentially   self-regulating and again plays into the lack of contractual oversight necessary to provide maximization of resources and service delivery, while controlling agent shirking of their related responsibilities (Kettl, 1993; Van Slyke, 2003).

While all frameworks have degrees of utility, the literature regarding the lead agency approach suggests an alternative that provides both the tools to manage, monitor, and control agent behaviors as well as the requisite skills of possessing vital resources, contacts, experience, and community-specific knowledge in order to effectively manage and lead a multi-faceted community-based social or human service organization.  Government sponsored lead agencies are chartered from among existing community providers and act as a direct extension of DCF administration, goal coordination, and contract management (Lamothe, 2011).

There are several arguments to suggest and support the adaptation of the lead agency approach.  Lead agencies generally have experience delivering direct services within the same community in which this innovative concept is being considered.  It is reasonable to accept as true that this agency has the economic and political institutional memory and knowledge necessary to provide a plethora of advantages regarding prevailing paradigmatic, operational, and production functions.  This priori information supports communication flow and greater ease in assimilating the new structures and frameworks into the community (Lamonthe, 2011).

Pre-existing relationships, collaborations, and partnerships brought to the table by the lead agency is imperative to cultivate constructive networks that can contractually deliver services within this new framework.  These associations can effectively provide greater service integration, less initial turmoil, and a mutual sharing of the vision and goals produced through identified social trends and public needs.  All of which should promote less deviation of vendor behaviors from the established community and principal focus (Armstrong et al., 2004).

The literature indicates that contract management within these community lead-agencies is more intimately applied to vendors creating less service barriers, gaps, and delivery fragmentation ultimately allowing closer and more precise levels of supervision, control, and management of functionally critical tasks.  This approach promotes a reduction of vendor error or improprieties (Miller, 1992; Moe, 1984).

Finally, the government sponsored lead agency approach provides the ability to contractualize performance requirements and measures that standardize contract management while reducing transaction associated costs and increasing community visibility.  Lead agency methodology provides the ability to clearly compare vendors within a community and publish performance indicators or SIs (Lamothe, 2011).  Using the Community Agenda Snapshot forum as an information vehicle may be an excellent venue to highlight the progress and results-oriented measures produced through this service delivery framework to educate governmental entities, agencies, and residents.

Indirect Tools

Salamon (2002) explains that indirect tools are those proliferated through third parties to assist in the delivery of public or market services.  Indirect tools have slowly moved to the forefront of public administration.  One reason has been to thwart the growth and expenses of direct government and secondly to subtly integrate the community into social service programs (Kettl, 2000).  Regardless of the reasons, indirect governance tools should be tailor-made approaches, not templates, to resolving community service problems.

Although the term implies less control,  the need for public management remains essential as the professional skillsets required to execute these tools are much more complex and require a different leadership and management paradigm to embed these concepts into community-level public-private relationships (Bingham & Nabatchi, 2005; Kettl, 2000).  These skills demand well-developed traits and characteristics that consist of strategic planning, flexible decision-making, organizational and contract monitoring, managing fiscal resources, as well as developing external relationships to ensure the effectiveness of the approaches considered to resolve community social problems (Brown et al., 2005).

The previously addressed government sponsored principal-agent model is critical in the use and management of these indirect tools.  Procured funding must be directly linked to the complimentary strategic plans developed within the newly evolving collaborations.  Furthermore, funding streams must be sensitive and flexible to the changing public social needs as they emerge and it is essential that these decisions be engaged at the principal-agent level in tandem with the vendors (Milward & Provan, 2000).  It seems reasonable to place the approval and oversight of grant and contractual tools within the control of the government sponsored principal-agent to align vendor behaviors with the goals and plans of the communities (Lamothe, 2011; Van Slyke, 2006).

Grants

Grants or in-kind supports are the primary indirect tools for the government to support and stimulate community-based challenges and build necessary infrastructures to support collaborative and integrative processes within the community social service culture.  These tools are meaningful in this analysis as they provide flexibility and can be very social service friendly in terms of automaticity and ease of integration into existing administrative structures.  Larger grant programs create relatively high visibility and have the tendency to build social capital, but conversely small grants used in community-based social services do not have the same transparency and community-building properties.  This potential drawback further supports the oversight of an honest broker to ensure that grant expenditures are not duplicative and meet the goals and objectives of the public market (Salamon, 2002).

Grants, although a very beneficial method of funding, have particular flaws in their ability to produce targeted results.  Many times grants are poorly administered, misused, influenced by political sources, and are too broad to be directly applied to programmatic issues (Salamon, 2002).  Studies have also shown that increases of grant funding reduces program accountability and provides the agency a pathway to follow their own charter rather than local donors and charitable sources that require a greater level of accountability (Rose-Ackerman, 1987).

In-kind support is very diverse in form and can be loaned or gifted buildings, staff, or equipment.  Either way, in-kind provides an effective method in which governments can provide services to the public without major costs to taxpayers and eliminates provider major capital expenses sometimes necessary to meet the growing capacity needs of the local community (Martin, 2001).

The development, focus, and management of grants at a local principal-agent level is becoming more essential and critical than ever before to aid in the development of streamlining social and human services within communities.  States and the other governing bodies such as DCF are far removed from the social trends and local community needs.  Application and development of generalized legislation at the state level to solve social problems is incongruent with community-based programmatic decisions and implementation (Bardach & Lesser, 1996).  The lack of local focus and generalizability will certainly produce efforts that are not sustainable, less controlled, and produce little or no consistency.  Government sponsored principal-agents at the community or county levels can provide the focus necessary to ensure equality while using grants to coordinate those required infrastructure changes to meet the true and cumulative needs of the public (Reddel, 2002).

Contracting

Another indirect tool of government is that of contracting.  This is simply a contractual obligation with a government entity, government sponsored lead agency in this case, to provide certain goods or services in exchange for monetary compensation (Salamon, 2002).  Contracting as a tool in this analysis is essential to coerce and control the integration of services, remove redundancies within the service delivery model, and assist in the realignment of public goals congruent with that of SIs.  Literature suggests that mandated consortiums or collaborations develop organizational interdependence and drive improvements in service delivery models (Penner, 1995).  The government sponsored principal-agent framework is supportive of managing and focusing these third party contracts to bring about the ability to manage horizontally, focus multiple and vastly diverse vendors within a market, and afford political as well as financial accountability within the local service delivery system (Salamon, 2002).

Contracting can be in various forms.  For purposes of this examination, market and partnerships models will be considered because of their utility and ability to make the strategic buying decisions necessary to compliment the ever-evolving public needs within a specific social service environment (Martin, 2001; Salamon, 2002).  Contracting is used conspicuously in local government operations.  These two forms of contracting have their strengths and weaknesses, but both provide an alternative to the in-house approach of service delivery.  The traditional and expensive in-house approach cannot meet the changing broad-based community needs guided using SIs and public demand.  This method is capable of reducing highly redundant structures that seems to develop naturally in time within most community-based providers (Beinecke & DeFillippi, 1999).  For example, maintenance and transportation is an integral part of service delivery with fixed costs for many providers.  Hypothetically, this means that every agency could fund a maintenance staff for facilities and vehicles.  A government sponsored principal-agent approach could provide a consolidated perspective of the maintenance and transportation needs of the community providers and competitively contract these services out for a significantly reduced cost to the public for the same or even improved services.  The principal then has the management and control of identifying targeted, necessary goods and services.  This arrangement fosters a healthy competitive contractual environment and provides a basis for quality assurance and operational efficiency (Salamon, 2002).

The market model encourages competition and has the propensity to produce efficiency and overall improvement in services (Martin, 2001).  This model, if managed properly, can reduce costs, redundancy, and provide relief for the service providers from expending energies in directions other than direct service delivery (Milward & Provan, 2000).

The partnership model of contracting integrates and synthesizes resources and skill sets focused towards a common goal or public need within a particular community-based service delivery system (Martin, 2001).  The partnership approach uses the common talents available within multiple service providers to offer a unified and more cost effective methodology.  This is especially relevant when the agencies are too small or too large to be efficient in relationship to the amount of social needs in a particular area.  The scale and scope of economies play a large part in determining when or if a contractual relationship should be pursued (Prager, 1994).                Contractual relationships are not without challenges.  Oppositional goals, dissimilar cultures, misrepresentation of individual and organizational skills and abilities are but a few.  Creating the harmony necessary to merge multi-organizations into not only a joint contractual relationship, but also one that can work in tandem towards common goals in relative peace is not an easy task (Beinecke & DeFillippi, 1999).  The principal-agent framework can be used to mediate these integration issues and provide the leadership necessary to set goals, negotiate, communicate, manage, and forge long-lasting relationships (Salamon, 2002).

Providing oversight to these contractual relationships that meet specific public needs is necessary to find the right mix or balance of providers and services necessary to reduce or eliminate delivery gaps, redundancies, or lack of quality in meeting the public needs.  Contracting as a tool can provide a clear direction of focused social service needs in advance of the letting of the contract.  The contractual tool also affords more precise results-oriented performance evaluation as well as fostering improved or expanded competitive markets within the community (Salamon, 2002).

Finally, the assessment or measurement of contract compliance is an essential piece towards the success of both quality and quantity of social service delivery within a community.  Complexity of measurement can facilitate vendor noncompliance through behavioral and performance challenges simply because difficult standards are hard to observe and ultimately control.  Simplicity and direct links to consistent performance metrics that accurately represent predetermined SIs compared to the outcomes of the respective vendor results is crucial in maintaining and monitoring both transaction costs and the quality of service delivery to match the public need (Brown et al., 2006).

Future Implications & Recommendations

In many communities within our society, social services has seemingly devolved into a non-integrated mix because of non-targeted growth, unrelated funding requirements, lack of integration around culture and mission of the principals, and lack of appropriate uses for SIs to guide the processes (Salamon, 2002).  In many cases, an integrated plan does not exist to support targeted, yet diverse social services. The purpose of this analysis was to provide a framework from which to assist communities in the streamlining, integration, and improving of social service delivery systems.

In many cases the use of SIs within communities are not fully effective although much effort is expended to survey and produce disaggregated data elements.  Many analyses lack definitive direction and has not been fully implemented into the strategic plans.  Additionally, many times strategic plans are not completely consolidated as indicated by the absence of several key community areas or groups of stakeholders.  Many communities have agency capacity far exceeding consumer requirements (Zaffiro-Kean, 2011).  These challenges are not integratively addressed by communities and as such provide an open door for service gaps, redundancy, and concerns about how and where resources are being expended.  These issues clearly demand an alternative path of collaboration and integration.  Anything short of that will render the effective use of SIs irrelevant for improving the overall service delivery mode (Stolzenberg et al., 2003).

Most community frameworks do not lend themselves to the complex yet necessary managerial, monitoring, and control to build integrated systems in an effort to meet the public need (Milward & Provan, 2000).  Using a direct tool of chartering a government sponsored lead agency is the approach that can provide the requisite skills to meet these emergent requirements.  This restructuring will provide the oversight and competitiveness required to make significant changes or modifications among the existing agencies and resources.  The reform necessary to produce increased efficiency, equity, manageability, and legitimacy can only be accomplished using specific tools of government by the lead agency (Hoge & Howenstine, 1997; Van Slyke, 2006).

Tools that can be applied to this framework are in the form of grants and contracts.  Through the oversight of the principal, these tools can be integrated into the delivery system to provide targeted, sustainable, yet flexible resources to meet the public objectives.  These tools can be in varying forms but will ultimately coerce collaborations and relationships that foster efficiency through eliminating gaps, redundancies, and improving quality of service delivery through consistent assessment and measurements.  These results can then be provided to educate and inform government officials and entities, agencies, and the public. This model provides the directness, simplicity, and linkages necessary to match the best providers with the mandated needs of the public need (Brown et al., 2006).

Conclusion

This analysis has sought to conceptualize and articulate the problems, issues, and dreams of synthesizing social services in a local community setting.  These new constructs can be applied to the social service delivery model within most as a prototype to realign, improve, and customize a sustainable service delivery model through a chartered principal-agent relationship while integrating and reducing duplicative services that may minimize the current gaps in provider offerings.  Implementing these principal-agent relationships in the form of lead agencies require new and complex leadership and management demands to provide effective use of these collaborations (Lamonthe, 2011).  Better use of SIs to analyze social trends and needs is relevant and timely to integrate these tools into the strategic planning, policy development, and allocation of resources.  The usage of grants and contracts can further provide dedicated funding streams that can assist in the management and control of community social service agency behaviors and outcomes while supporting the goals and objectives of the principal (Salamon, 2002).  In a time of dwindling resources and accelerating social problems against a backdrop of elevated demand it is imperative that wasteful or misdirected spending be eliminated, resource allocation appropriately applied, and most importantly targeted services meet the needs of the local market to reduce problematic social identifiers and related human misery.  The conclusions indicate a delicate balance and complex mixture of issues exist that eliminate or mitigate barriers to a more efficient and innovative model of human and social service delivery.  Ultimately, the efficacy of which truly is entrenched in the commitment and will to change among community-based agencies and its citizen stakeholders.

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