Outsourcing (In)Equity: Do Informal Government-Nonprofit Collaborations Lead to Inequitable Government Service?
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Local governments often rely on collaborations with nonprofit organizations to serve “underheard” communities. These collaborations are often resource-intensive, but not well-analyzed. I engage a case study of City of Eugene's efforts to create "Welcoming Parks" for its Latino community to analyze the effects of these collaborations on the equity of government services and policy outcomes. My analysis is based on qualitative analysis of interviews and observations conducted with government staff, nonprofit leaders, community advocates, and community members. It demonstrates that local governments' reliance on nonprofit collaborations to address the needs of their “underheard" communities can lead to inequitable service and policy outcomes. Rather, representation of “underheard” communities within government may be necessary to produce outcomes. This research paves the way for further empirical studies of informal government-nonprofit collaborations and provides suggestions regarding how local governments should work with their communities to achieve equitable service and policy outcomes.