UN Nonprofit Handbook Project Resources

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This page offers tools to assist those implementing, or considering implementing, the UN Handbook. If you are considering implementing the UN Handbook, you might first download the Implementation Task List and Data Availability Questionnaire, which are designed to help statistical officials assess their readiness to undertake the project. This page also offers links to background materials and publications from project countries that provide insight into ways that others have applied the definition and developed the “nonprofit universe” in their countries. A revision of the UN NPI Handbook is currently underway, which will draw on the experiences and lessons-learned from the nearly 20 countries to date that have implemented the Handbook, and will provide additional practical tools and guidance materials to make it more straightforward to implement and to produce comparative data. For more on this revision, please see this post, or contact us for an update.

Tools for implementers
In addition to the Handbook itself, the Center has developed documents to help those considering implementation to assess existing resources and to develop a plan for moving forward.

Background and reference documents
The documents referenced below can provide useful insight into countries’ experiences in measuring the civil society sector and into the development process for the Handbook.

    Completed Satellite Accounts. Several countries have implemented the Handbook and produced at least one iteration of the satellite account on nonprofit institutions. You can browse completed satellite accounts here.
    CNP Working Papers. Produced by Local Associates as part of the Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project (CNP), these Working Papers describe in detail the process used to apply the CNP definition to the nonprofit sector in a wide variety of countries. This definition was used to inform the working definition used in the Handbook, and as such, these papers may prove instructive for those considering implementation of the UN Handbook. You can browse all CNP working papers here.
    ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work. The Handbook calls for measuring the economic value of the volunteer work in the nonprofit sector, but most countries do not have a mechanism in place to do so. Approved in 2011, the ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work resolves this problem and offers implementers of the UN Handbook an internationally sanctioned tool for gathering official data on the amount, character, and value of volunteering that are comparable cross-nationally. This tool has been specifically designed to ensure efficiency, reliability, and consistency by utilizing existing government statistical agencies to collect this information as part of their regular surveys. Visit the Volunteer Measurement Project page to learn more about the ILO Manual and efforts around the world to promote its implementation, or download the full text in multiple languages here.
    Development and history of the UN Handbook. The UN Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions in the System of National Accounts was prepared in close collaboration between the Center for Civil Society Studies and the Economic Statistics Branch of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). Throughout the development of the Handbook, guidance was provided by a consultative group. From November 2000 to July 2001, a draft version of the Handbook was tested in 11 countries, which varied in their level of development. The final version of the Handbook was published by the United Nations in 2003. You can download a packet documenting the development and testing process here.
    In order to encourage and support the implementation of the Handbook, the Center joined forces with the UNV, Eurostat, and the Economic Commissions for Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia to host a series of regional meetings in 2004 and 2005 bringing together statistical officials and civil society leaders, and follow-up regional technical trainings for statistical offices in 2005 and 2006. Click here for a packet containing reports from these meetings.
    In 2007, we co-hosted a Global Assembly on Measuring Civil Society and Volunteering with the UNV and the UNSD in Bonn, Germany attended by nearly 100 participants from 37 countries, and continue to advocate for implementation of the Handbook around the world and to report the results.