TSI Project: A statistical revolution in data on the third sector in Europe

By on June 10, 2015

The following is a news release from the Third Sector Impact project, a major effort underway in Europe to “understand the scope and scale of the third sector in Europe, its current and potential impact, and the barriers hindering the third sector to fully contribute to the continent’s welfare.” In his capacity as a Senior Research Professor at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Centre, CCSS Director Lester Salamon leads the conceptualization and measurement components of this project in collaboration with Center Senior Research Associate Wojciech Sokolowski and an international team of experts. 

__________________________________________

NEWS RELEASE:

A central goal of the Third Sector Impact project is to institutionalize the capability of national statistical agencies to generate reliable empirical data on the third sector. After publishing a consensus definition of the third sector in Europe in December, an important prerequisite for statistical agencies to implement data gathering systems that capture third sector activity and impact, TSI and the Directorate General Research & Innovation of the European Commission now co-hosted the event “Putting the Third Sector on the Statistical Map of Europe.”

Representatives of the European Economic and Social Council, the International Labour Organization, the directorates of the European Commission Education & Culture (EAC), Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (EMPL) and Internal Market, Industry, Social Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW), the statistical institutes of nine European countries, and researchers from eight European universities or research institutes engaged in the TSI project attended this conference in Brussels on June 1st, 2015. The result exceeded all expectations: “A quiet revolution is underway in European statistical agencies with regard to the portrayal of the organizations and individual activity that comprise the third, or citizen, sector in Europe,” summarised TSI researcher Lester M. Salamon of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Bologna Center.

The general sense of this conference was summarized nicely by Ariane Rodert, vice president of the EESC committee representing citizen groups: “The third sector has been invisible in European statistics for too long. It is now time to bring this citizen sector into view so that we can better understand its important contributions and make better use of its talents and resources.” As Prof. Salamon noted, the statistical machinery for accomplishing this task is now at hand.

Building on the Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project directed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University the UN Statistics Division issued a Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions in the System of National Accounts (SNA) in 2003, recommending that national statistical agencies produce regular “satellite accounts” to highlight the role of nonprofit institutions, which otherwise are largely buried in the statistics of other sectors and are therefore invisible. This handbook was revised in 2008, calling on countries to pull NPIs out of the other economic sectors in which they are buried and report on them separately in their national accounts statistics. Then, in 2011, the International Labour Organization (ILO) issued a Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work which for the first time called on statistical offices to begin measuring volunteer work in a comparative, systematic fashion. A 2013 ILO resolution added further reinforcement to these directives.

To date, however, only three European countries have officially implemented the UN NPI Handbook–Portugal, the Czech Republic, and Norway. But from the evidence of the June 1st conference, a far larger number have significant implementation work under way. Indeed, a subterranean earthquake appears to be gathering force in European statistical agencies that seems poised to burst into view, confirming the Johns Hopkins Project findings and exposing officially the surprising truth that the third sector is one of the largest “industries” in Europe.

For example:

–  GUS, Poland’s statistical agency, has been building an elaborate body of statistical data on nonprofit institutions over the past decade and recently became the first country to implement the ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work;

 Portugal’s Instituto Natonal Estatistica (INE) is now committed to producing a satellite account on nonprofit institutions every two years and recently issued a major report based on its initial implementation of the ILO Manual;

–  ISTAT in Italy just completed its third major census of nonprofit institutions and social cooperatives and a parallel citizen survey on volunteer work and is about to issue an NPI satellite account;

  A French law has mandated a satellite account on the “social economy,” embracing cooperatives and mutuals as well as nonprofits;

  The National Bank of Belgium, with support from the King Baudouin Foundation, has been producing regular NPI satellite accounts for a decade and now the Belgian statistics agency has agreed to integrate questions on volunteer work into its labor force surveys;

  The ILO has issued a new regulation on work that explicitly embraces volunteer work as an important component deserving regular, systematic measurement;

  In Austria, work is going forward to clarify the coverage of one portion of the entire NPI sector, with pressures from civil society groups to broaden this coverage to NPIs buried in other economic sectors;

  Germany‘s federal statistical agency has entered a partnership with several foundations and a leading research body to generate statistical data on its vast nonprofit sector; and

  And in the Netherlands, labor force statisticians have agreed to incorporate a limited range of questions on volunteer work into the huge Dutch labor force survey.

Against this backdrop of significant movement, the Third Sector Impact project has now opened a third front in the battle to improve the visibility of the third sector with formulating the consensus definition of the “third sector” that systematically and objectively identifies the truly public-serving components of the cooperative, mutual, and social enterprise sectors and spells out how they can be incorporated along with NPIs and volunteer work into an even more comprehensive statistical picture of the third sector. This broadened definition will now be incorporated as a suggestion into a revision of the UN’s NPI Handbook due out in 2015.

The one missing actor in this striking European movement to give greater visibility to the third, or “citizen,” sector in official statistics is Europe’s official statistical agency, Eurostat. Indeed, far from following the international statistical community or even some of its own leading statistical agencies, Eurostat neglected to include in its own recently issued version of the 2008 SNA the 2008 SNA provision calling for the separate reporting on NPIs buried in the corporate and government accounts in the SNA system. Several participants at the June 1st conference identified Eurostat’s seeming indifference as a significant barrier to further improvements in the statistical visibility of the third sector in Europe and urged Eurostat to join the movement that seems to be gathering momentum to correct this shortcoming.

TSI will follow up on this significant event with a policy brief. For an EC-funded research project, this event was an example of breaking new ground in research: including different stakeholder groups in the process, delivering good input to policy making process, and putting research results to immediate use.

______________________

Cross-posted from Third Sector Impact. Please visit the link for additional materials and more information about TSI.

 

Good news, and more good news, about the measurement of volunteer activity

By on June 8, 2015

This post originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of the International Association for Volunteer Effort’s (IAVE) e-newsletter, ahead of an upcoming webinar presentation to IAVE members about the features of the ILO Manual on June 23. ____________________________________________   Despite

A Win-Win Route Out of the Greek Debt Crisis

By on May 11, 2015

A new article by Center Director Lester Salamon, published today in the May-June edition of The World Financial Review, takes a look at a novel solution to the on-going Greek debt crisis. Rooted in his work exploring a phenomenon he

Statement from Lester Salamon on the recent events in Baltimore

By on May 1, 2015

A number of you have been kind enough to express concern about the health and safety of all of us at the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies following the reports of violence and looting in Baltimore earlier this

Cameroon releases its first NPI satellite account, providing inspiration for other countries

By on January 29, 2015

Cameroon became only the third African country to complete a satellite account on nonprofit institutions and volunteering since the 2003 publication of the UN Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions in the System of National Accounts. The only other African countries to

Statistics Norway releases nonprofit funding data for the first time

By on January 22, 2015

Statistics Norway recently released an updated report on its satellite account on nonprofit institutions (NPIs), resulting from their continued implementation of the UN Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions in the System of National Accounts. For the first time, this report includes

Into the New Year: The Center for Civil Society Studies and the Global Sustainability Agenda

By on January 13, 2015

In 2012, the United Nations began to explore how best to build upon its Millennium Development Goals, the set of objectives that has guided international development work over the past 15 years. With environmental degradation and global warming increasingly prominent

A Brave New World of Social Purpose Finance

By on December 8, 2014

This is the title of a new article in the November/December 2014 issue of The World Financial Review in which Center Director Dr. Lester Salamon examines the remarkable changes taking place in social purpose finance today. Below is a brief

Blog post series by William Burckart highlights “New Frontiers of Philanthropy”

By on November 24, 2014

New Frontiers of Philanthropy (Oxford University Press, 2014), an omnibus text examining the innovations taking place in the philanthropic field edited by Center Director Lester Salamon, is discussed in a new series of blog posts by New Frontiers contributing author

Revision of the UN Nonprofit Handbook underway

By on October 25, 2014

  In 2002, the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies partnered with the United Nations Statistics Division and an international team of statistical experts to develop the first UN Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions in the System of National Accounts.

Italy releases nonprofit census data, shows tremendous sector growth

By on October 20, 2014

Recently released data from the Italian National Institute for Statistics (ISTAT) 2011 Census of Nonprofit Institutions shows that the country is home to more than 300,000 nonprofit organizations, which represents a remarkable 28 percent increase since the last census was

NEWS RELEASE | A “win-win” solution for transforming the philanthropic landscape of the world

By on October 1, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   With the resources and capabilities of governments and private charity barely growing or in decline around the world, yet the problems of poverty, ill-health, and environmental degradation ballooning daily, it is increasingly clear that new energies,

NEWS RELEASE | Two new books from Lester Salamon explore the revolution under way on the frontiers of philanthropy and social investment

By on September 22, 2014

Oxford University Press and Lester Salamon Announce Two New Books: NEW FRONTIERS OF PHILANTHROPY and LEVERAGE FOR GOOD  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chelsea Newhouse   With the resources of both governments and traditional philanthropy barely growing or in decline while

New data on volunteering in Italy

By on August 5, 2014

Italy is the latest country to implement the ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work, allowing the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat) to collect national-level data on the amount and character of volunteering in Italy.   The survey

Two important volunteering policy developments

By on March 10, 2014

In recent months, there have been two important developments in volunteering policy that will impact the ongoing efforts to highlight volunteer labor in Europe and around the world.   First, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has officially adopted volunteering as

Westchester County Nonprofits: A Major Economic Engine

By on March 5, 2014

Today, we are pleased to release a new report highlighting the crucial role played by nonprofits in New York’s Westchester County.   The report, produced by our Nonprofit Economic Data Project in collaboration with Nonprofit Westchester with funding from the

Beating the Odds: The Center in 2013

By on December 19, 2013

According to Viking tradition, Loki, the uninvited 13th guest at a banquet of gods in Valhalla, orchestrated the assassination of Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and goodness. Reflecting this and similar stories, folkloric traditions around the world have

Meet Dr. Yuanfeng Zhang, Fall 2013 International Philanthropy Fellow

By on December 9, 2013

The Johns Hopkins International Fellows in Philanthropy Program is a highly-selective program that welcomes one or two researchers from outside the U.S. to spend one or more semesters at our Center to conduct independent research on an aspect of the

Meet Tatsuaki Kobayasi, 2012-2013 International Philanthropy Fellow

By on December 3, 2013

The Johns Hopkins International Fellows in Philanthropy Program is a highly-selective program that welcomes one or two researchers from outside the U.S. to spend one or more semesters at our Center to conduct independent research on an aspect of the

Nonprofits are: EMPOWERING

By on November 6, 2013

This post is one in a series exploring each of the seven attributes – being productive, empowering, effective, enriching, reliable, responsive, and caring – revealed in the Listening Post’s Nonprofit Values Survey in detail. Please visit the Nonprofit Values overview

Philanthropication thru Privatization: A way to build charitable assets?

By on September 30, 2013

I had the good fortune to be called out by name recently by celebrated Economist Magazine columnist Matthew Bishop for having put together his “dream conference” combining his “two favorite themes: privatization and philanthrocapitalism.”   The occasion for this comment

SAVE THE DATE: A discussion about the Future of Nonprofit America in NYC

By on July 22, 2013

On October 29th, please join us at the Foundation Center in New York as Center Director Lester Salamon hosts a panel discussion about where the nonprofit sector is heading, what its best path forward might be, and what it will

SAVE THE DATE: A discussion about the Future of Nonprofit America in Washington, DC

By on July 22, 2013

On October 17th, please join us at the Aspen Institute in Washington DC as Center Director Lester Salamon hosts a panel discussion about where the nonprofit sector is heading, what its best path forward might be, and what it will

The measurement of voluntary work: Always in the spotlight!

By on June 24, 2013

This post was added to the Center’s blog on 29 June 2015 as part of a wind-down of the standalone European Volunteer Measurement website. ____________________________________   Institutions and the not-for-profit sector keep working on the issue of the measurement of

Nonprofits are: ENRICHING

By on May 6, 2013

This post is one in a series exploring each of the seven attributes – being productive, empowering, effective, enriching, reliable, responsive, and caring – revealed in the Listening Post’s Nonprofit Values Survey in detail. Please visit the Nonprofit Values overview