Event Details

Centre for Advanced Academic Studies,
Interuniversity Centar
Don Frana Bulica 4,
20000 Dubrovnik
28-29 May, 2015

Event Description

Partners met at CAAS, part of Zagreb University in Dubrovnik, to report on progress of the different work packages and to plan further steps in reaching the project’s objective, to create knowledge to advance the contributions that the third sector and volunteering can make to the socio-economic development in Europe.

Members of the impact group Ruth Simsa, John Mohan, and Gojko Bezovan presented different studies conducted to demonstrate third sector impact in different fields across countries or geographical regions or the impact of volunteering compared to for-profit or public welfare providers in a national context. Karl-Henrik Sivesind, leader of TSI’s work on defining a methodology for impact measurement and the identification of impact indicators, clarified that in terms of impact fields the project focuses on the areas of education, health and wellbeing, social services and advocacy at different levels (macro, community, organisational and individual), trying to identify different cultural models and clusters across Europe. He announced that impact indicators identified for focus impact areas by TSI’s previous work will be tested in partnership with Volonteurope’s programme “Organisational impact assessment of volunteering”.

As all studies are working with different data sets the importance of collecting unified data on the third sector in Europe became once more evident. Lester Salamon once more outlined the conceptualisation of the third sector, an important prerequisite for data collection, to be discussed with representatives of national statistical agencies and the European Commission in an event just four days after the TSI consortium meeting. The overall challenge is to get statistical agencies in Europe and Eurostat to collect unified data on the third sector based on TSI”s definition. At this point it is even difficult to tease non-profit institutions out of existing data. Only five European countries implemented the UN NPI Handbook, seven countries and using the ILO manual to measure volunteering. It is still unclear how to include cooperatives as their legal basis differentiates between and within countries.

All partners are working on identifying the barriers third sector entities are facing in their countries and the possible solutions to overcome challenges. Most have concluded interviews with third sector organisations working in different societal fields and have launched or are about to launch their online surveys. Stakeholder meetings later this year will focus on barriers and other aspects to be determined over the next weeks.

Watch this space.