Session 3

Role of the Third Sector in Social Policy

In this session 3 papers were presented which are, respectively, (1) “the Role of Non-State Support in Providing Healthcare for Urban Refugees: A case study for Ankara” by Wanda Spahl; (2) “State Agencies and Islamic Agencies in Welfare Provision in Indonesia” by M. Falikul Isbah; (3) “The Pattern of Relationship between State and NGOs in Women and Family Policy-Making in Iran” by Karam Habibpour Gatabi.


In the first article, Wanda Spahl said that Turkey hosts more refugees than any other country in the world, these days. The research questions were: how is healthcare access organized and which actors are the key players in the provision? This paper takes up a multi-level approach. By answering the research questions, the article offers empirical insights into the implications of the rapid incorporation of Syrian refugees into the Turkish healthcare system. It contributes to the theoretical debate about the provision of social rights, which has been under-researched in the Mediterranean welfare states and in Muslim societies at large.

M. Falikul Isbah, as a second presenter, said that Indonesia is experiencing a tremendous Islamic resurgence in all aspects of societal life including increasing roles of Islamic organisations in charitable activities, humanitarian actions, and development initiatives. In 2004, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world enacted a law on National Social Security System which was later complemented with other laws as guidance for its implementation. The question raised is to what extent the development of these state agencies and Islamic agencies will drive Indonesia’s social policy. The result shows that Despite the broadening government schemes, there is limited state capacity in both program delivery and budget, ineffective governance, and a never ending eagerness of Islamic agencies to articulate Islam through charitable initiatives.

Karam Habibpour Gatabi in the third presentation said that sustainable social policy is a policy based on the involvement of all agents at all of its stages. While in Iran, as in other Third World countries and even the Second World countries, the state plays an important role in social policy and sometimes is the only social policy agent in these countries, it does not allow much involvement of civil society, especially NGOs in this field. The present study has been conducted with a combination of quantitative (survey) and qualitative (semi-structured deep interviews) methods. The findings showed that the relationship between the state and NGOs varies according to different states, and it can be explained based on several propositions that all indicate that the type of relationship that exists between these two parts is denied to philosophy of the presence of civil society in the field of women and the family, and in particular is not a good context for a community-based approach to the management of women's and family affairs.