TSI News Alert #7

News from Third Sector Impact

ABOUT Third Sector Impact

The third sector, consisting of civil society associations and foundations, volunteers, and other citizen organisations and activities, offers unique renewable and sustainable resources for social and economic problem-solving, democracy, and civic engagement in Europe. In times of social and economic distress and enormous pressures on governmental budgets this sector is an important partner in the effort to promote economic development and social cohesion in Europe.

To take full advantage of this resource we need a clearer understanding of the third sector – its scope and scale, existing and potential impacts, and barriers to full third sector contribution to the continent’s common welfare. Third Sector Impact (TSI) brings together researchers from 8 European countries in a comparative project, determined to address questions of third sector definition, measurement, impact assessment and ways to support its development. It includes a distinctive stakeholder engagement process to capture the insights of practitioners and include them in conceptualization, methodology and project outputs.
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MEET the TSI Netherlands Team
Dr. Taco Brandsen is Professor is Professor of Comparative Public Administration at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Radboud University Nijmegen. His research focuses on public service delivery, the emergence of new governance structures and civic engagement through co-production.

Dr. Ulla Pape is post-doctoral researcher at the same department. She wrote her her doctoral thesis on civil society and HIV/AIDS Politics in Russia. For TSI she is mainly working in third sector barriers.
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NEWS from the project

Save the date! TSI Final Conference, 9 November 2016
During the final conference of our project, hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), we will share results and policy recommendations following three years of research and intensive stakeholder engagement. Titled "The Third Sector: a renewable resource for addressing Europe's challenges" the event is looking forward: Researchers, third sector stakeholders and policy makers will address policy recommendations as part of an action agenda for the third sector of the future.  Read more

European Stakeholder Meeting on Barriers in Rome
19 representatives of third sector organisations from TSI target countries met during two beautiful spring days in Rome in April to discuss the results of TSI’s comparative research on enabling and hindering factors the third sector is facing in Europe. They formulated
policy recommendations on infrastructural elements needed at European and national levels. Apart from valuable input received Rome provided the perfect background to meet colleagues from other EU countries. Read more
National Papers and Policy Briefs on Third Sector Barriers
TSI partners produced national reports outlining barriers and drivers for different types of third sector organisations working in different fields, based on case studies, interviews and online surveys in Poland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Croatia, Austria and England. Using results both from reports and stakeholder consultations they formulated country-specific policy recommendations, addressing both policy makers and third sector organisations. Make sure to consult reports and recommendations concerning your country!
New Working Paper: Assessing the socio-economic impact of the third sector
Outlining the challenges of quantitative measurement, TSI coordinator Bernard Enjolras argues in this paper that multi-dimenional criteria are needed to capture the socio-economic impact of third sector activity, due to its ‘public’ or ‘collective’ goods character”.
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Second research article beased on TSI findings
A new article by TSI researchers titled "Working under pressure: economic recession and third sector development in Europe" by Pape, Chaves, Pahl, Petrella, Pielinski and Savall-Morera on the impact of economic recession and related policy changes on third sector development in Europe has been published in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. The article places the economic effects of the euro crisis on TSOs into a broader context of changing third sector policies and welfare state restructuring. Read more
Interview with Lester M. Salamon by DG Research & Innovation
In this interview Lester M. Salamon talks about the difficulty of finding commonalities between many different notions of the third sector across Europe and the work TSI has done towards a consensus conceptualization. Read more
TSI at Eurostat
Lester M. Salamon promoted
TSI’s conceptualization of the third sector during this year’s Eurostat spring meeting on 11 May 2016 in Luxemburg. With his presentation “Beyond NPIs: Institutionalizing the Measurement of the Third Sector and Social Economy in Europe” he continued TSI’s effort to institutionalise enhanced data collection on the impact of the third sector in Europe. Read more
“The third sector in transition” – TSI hosted three panels at ISTR conference
This focus of the
International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) conference in Stockholm in June 2016 reflects the actuality of the TSI project. Naturally, TSI researchers organised three topical panels that zoomed in on the TSI definition of the third sector, on impact assessment and on third sector barriers, presenting and discussing TSI results.


TSI follows a specific stakeholder approach to to capture the insights of practitioners on all working areas of the project -  impactconcept, measurement, and barriers.
TSI discusses third sector barriers with stakeholders in Madrid
The final meeting with stakeholders in Spain took take place in Madrid on 23 June, bringing together researchers and members of the Spanish Third Sector Platform.
Joint TSI and ITSSOIN stakeholder meeting: working together on third sector development
On 22 March 2016, the Dutch researchers on the
ITSSOIN project and TSI’s Ulla Pape and Taco Brandsen (Radboud University Nijmegen) jointly organised a meeting with more than thirty representatives of third sector organizations and researchers to critically assess third sector development and social innovation in the Netherlands. Read more


On the TSI Consultations blog practitioners, researchers and policy makers can contribute their observations and thinking and thus help TSI researchers understand the various impacts of third sector activities at societal, local and individual levels.

New Consultation

BARRIERS: Policy recommendations

Several recommendations addressing either managers of TSOs or politicians emerged from the discussion with stakeholders in Rome this April. They focus on governance, access to finances, and human resources. We are inviting your feedback!


The Dutch team put together a public consultation on policy recommendations in the Netherlands.


TSI results and recommendations at Austrian non-profit umbrella event
14 September 2016
Vienna, Austria

TSI stakeholder organisation IGO – Interessenvertretung Gemeinnütziger Organisationen, an umbrella advocacy organisation of Austrian NGOs, is organising the annual event “Update Gemeinnützigkeit” (Non-Profit Update), inviting NPOs to discuss latest policy development etc. Read more

TSI at CIRIEC Conferences

21-23 September, Reims, France
19-21 October, Valencia, Spain

Rafael Chaves of TSI partner IUDESCOOP will present TSI findings at two CIRIEC (International Centre of Research and Information on the Public, Social and Cooperative Economy) events. Read more

TSI and ITSSOIN to convene joint policy session
October 2016

The Dutch TSI and ITSSOIN teams will meet nonprofit organizations in order to discuss research findings and policy recommendations. The results will be taken to the TSI Final Conference in Brussels on 9 November 2016. Read more

TSI at ARNOVA Conference
7 to 19 November 2016
Washington D.C., US

Ulla Pape will take the project to ARNOVA’s 45th Annual Conference "Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Government: Policy and Partnerships in an Era of Change".


Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) is a network of 15 civil society development organizations from 10 countries and territories in South East Europe, working towards the empowerment of civil society in the region and lobbying for a more enabling environment for civil society development to ensure functioning democracies in the Balkans. BCSDN recently published a policy brief assessing how the EU support for regional partnerships of civil society has contributed to fostering democratic reforms. Read more

PARTNER and Stakeholder News

Celebrating implementation of UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Netherlands
On 14 July 2016, the  UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will come into  force in the Netherlands, after years of signing but not ratifying. The declaration is an international human rights treaty of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.
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Save the date: EMES Conference 2017 in Louvain, Belgium
TSI partner EMES, in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Work, State and Society (CIRTES, Université catholique de Louvain) and the Social Enterprise Belgian Interuniversity Attraction Pole (IAP), announces 6th EMES International Research Conference on the theme “Social enterprise for sustainable societies”, July 3-6, 2017 in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. Read more

Volonteurope Conference "Apathy or Action: Young Europeans Take a Stand"
TSI stakeholder organisation Volonteurope and
La Ligue de l’enseignement will bring together 150 young activists and civil society actors from across Europe to explore ways in which young people are responding to Europe’s many challenges with action. Read more


Would you like your news and events relevant to third sector impact featured here? Email us at


National stakeholder institutions featured: 59
European stakeholder institutions featured: 33
News Alert subscriptions: 538
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For any inquiries about the Third Sector Impact project, please contact Bernard Enjolras ( and Rocío Nogales (

TSI research partners:
Institute for Social Research (Norway), The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (Italy), Wirtschaftsuniversitat Wien, Austria, University of Kent and University of Birmingham (United Kingdom), University of Münster (Germany), Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), Universitat de Valencia (Spain), Faculty of Law Zagreb (Croatia), and the University of Warsaw (Poland).

TSI Support members: SPES (stakeholders’ engagement); EMES Network (communication and dissemination) and ERS (administration).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 613034.
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