Capping a three-year process, the United Nations has released a new statistical guidance document for nations to use to generate solid data on the world’s third, or social economy, sector—the TSE Sector.
Unknown by most observers, this sector—embracing nonprofit institutions, public-benefit oriented cooperatives and mutuals, social enterprises, philanthropy, and volunteer work—makes up the third largest workforce of any industry in Western Europe and the U.S.
In the developing world as well, these entities, and the volunteer effort they motivate, are widely regarded as crucial to the success of the 2030 Development Agenda.
To date, however, reliable data on these institutions and volunteer activities have been missing or obscured in official international statistical systems. The just-released United Nations Satellite Account on Nonprofit and Related Institutions and Volunteer Work (UN TSE Sector Handbook) now promises to remedy this problem and bring this TSE sector into systematic empirical view by equipping statistical agencies with comprehensive methodological guidance on its measurement.
This new Handbook, produced in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, revises an earlier UN Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions in the System of National Accounts and extends its coverage to all entities and activities that exhibit three key attributes:
In announcing its availability, UN Statistics Division Director Stefan Schweinfest noted:
“The compilation of a satellite account on Nonprofit and Related institutions and Volunteer work allows for the measurement of the economic impact of the TSE sector and provides an important basis for evidence-based policy-making and for efforts to improve the enabling environment for the TSE sector.”
Statistical offices around the world participated in the formulation of this new statistical Handbook. In the process, they produced a document with a number of special strengths:
Implementation of the new UN TSE Sector Handbook is already under way in a number of countries.
Workshops on the implementation of the new Handbook for TSE leaders and statistical officials are being organized by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. For further information, contact Center Communications Associate Chelsea Newhouse.
Center Director Lester Salamon will be discussing the new UN Satellite Account on Nonprofit and Related Institutions and Volunteer Work and the Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Economic Data Project during a colloquium session at the upcoming Upswell LA Conference hosted by Independent Sector. The session, “The Pros and Cons of Benchmarking Change,” will take place on Thursday, November 15th from 9:30-11:00am. If you are interested in attending Upswell and have not yet registered, you can save $200 on registration by using our discount code SPPLS here.
Changework is complex, but we all share a common goal: strengthening our communities and improving lives. And if we’re going to meet that goal, talk isn’t enough. That’s why Upswell exists. Taking place this November 14-16 in Los Angeles, Upswell will bring together 1,500 professional changemakers to turn empathy into action. In an immersive, high-energy forum, you’ll forge new partnerships, wrestle with big ideas, exchange lessons learned, and explore leading-edge practices for accomplishing—not just advancing—your mission.
Chelsea Newhouse is the Communications Manager for the Center for Civil Society Studies and manages the Center's Nonprofit Economic Data and Philanthropication thru Privatization Projects and the Nonprofit Works Interactive Database. Prior to joining the Center in 2008, she worked for the Johns Hopkins University Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, the Baltimore Sun, and as a community organizer for Clean Water Action and the Democratic National Committee. She holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Virginia. Chelsea can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.