Lester M. Salamon and S. Wojciech Sokolowsk presented TSI’s consensus conceptualisation of the third sector in Europe at this year’s ARNOVA conference in Chicago from 19-21 November, stimulating enthusiasm about the fact that elements of the social economy are integrated in our approach. The purpose of the Colloquium Panel was to provide ARNOVA members an opportunity to review the emerging consensus definition of the Third Sector in Europe and to consider its suitability as a foundation for data gathering and third sector research. Now that there is growing acceptance of the idea of organizing statistical data on the nonprofit sector based on a more narrow definition, it is time to promote an operationally and philosophically valid basis for differentiating the in-scope from the out-of-scope cooperatives, mutual, and social enterprises.

Ruth Simsa presented TSI’s work on impact measurement, outlining the state of the art as well as advantages  – i.e. it differentiates outcomes from impact by considering the deadweight, the extent to which the outcomes would have happened anyway –  and drawbacks – i.e. the depoliticisation of the third sector and subjective choice of values – of the SROI method for impact measurement.
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