Social partnerships have been in existence from as early as the 1980s but have been mostly implemented when financial trouble arises. Research shows that social partnership came about in Ireland when they were in an economic predicament. This can be clearly demonstrated when Eileen Connolly (2007) states that:
For nearly 20 years the Irish State has engaged in a process if social concentration that has produced tri-annual agreements between the social partners and the government. Beginning in 1987 as a response to economic crisis, Irish ‘social partnership’ has received international attention because it has been closely associated with the spectacular success of the Irish economy. The economic success of Ireland’s development model, had, by the end of the 1990s, produced virtually full employment and budget surpluses. (p.3).
Ireland was able to transform from one of the poorest countries in Europe to one of the richest in fifteen (15) years. The country’s economic transformation was done in the time of the institutionalization of social partnership which was done through three-year collective agreements (Baccaro & Simoni, p.1). The economic success of Ireland can be attributed to implementation of social partnerships which laid the foundation for economic growth.
Connolly (2007) also noted that Social partnership has immensely impacted on the success of Ireland’s achievement by creating a “stable context for economic growth; it builds consensus for difficult policy decisions avoiding social and industrial strife; and it provided a predicable policy environment for business and FDI.” Ireland was able to capitalize on the other various aspects that fostered and encouraged growth including “the availability of EU funds; increasing levels of foreign investment; investment in education; and a political culture which was open to internationalization.”(p.3).
Further research done by Clark, Lorraine & Shipway (2013) found that “Public Social Partnerships originate from Italy where the public and third sectors have jointly developed, designed and delivered services which are focused on improving outcomes for service users in relation to services that the public sector is looking to commission.”(p.1).
“Public social partnership involves public and third party sector bodies co-designing services or interviews to deliver agreed outcomes. This approach encourages effective partnership working across various sectors, places the third party sector at the heart of the service design and delivery and explicitly at emphasis outcomes rather than activity (Clark, Lorraine & Shipway, 2013, p.1). The Public Social Partnership concept was first piloted in Scotland in 2006 which later had a positive outcome for the country.
Ireland was used as an example of how the social partnership model can be implemented for other countries to follow because it focused more on “inclusive policy development”. Connolly (2007) explained that:
As discovered from Ireland’s own...