Institute for social research is to lead a new EU-project on the Third Sector

With an extensive project plan ISF wins the competition for a comprehensive EU-FP7-SSH-project on the impacts of Third Sector on the socio-economic development in Europe.

The research project Third Sector Impact, which is part of EU’s seventh framework program, is a collaborative project involving 13 other research institutes in Europe, among them The  Johns Hopkins University in Italy, and has a time frame of 3 years.

- This project gives us the opportunity to further develop our competence and make valuable contacts within the research community and the Third Sector in Europe. That we are given the task of leading the project in addition signals that we are able to qualify ourselves in an international context, says Bernard Enjolras, head of research at ISF and head of the EU-project. In addition to Enjolras, researcher Karl Henrik Sivesind at ISF will partake in the project.

Socio-economic development

The main objective of the research project is to create knowledge that will further advance the contributions that the Third Sector and volunteering can make to the socio-economic development of Europe.
- The unique resources of the Third Sector both to social and economic problem-solving is needed more than ever at this time of social and economic crisis and enormous pressures on governmental budgets, says Bernard Enjolras.
- However, to take full advantage of the resources in the Third Sector we need a clearer understanding of its scope and scale, its existing and potential impact, and the barriers to its full contribution, all of which are factors that will be investigated in this project, says Enjolras.

Comprehensive understanding

The project is divided into seven main work packages. The first stages of the project will seek to clarify the concept of the third sector in Europe, and building on this the major contours of the sector will be identified; its size, structure, composition, sources of support, and recent trends.

In the next stages the project aims to identify the impacts of the sector, including its contributions to European economic development, innovation and citizen well-being, as well as barriers both internal to organizations and external to them.
- An important part of the project is also to forge a partnership between the research community and the European Third Sector practitioners. This will ensure that the understanding of the sector generated by this work remains grounded in reality, Enjolras concludes. 

Research partners:

  • The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (Italy)

  • Wirtschaftsuniversitat Wien (Austria)

  • University of Kent (United Kingdom)

  • Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster (Germany)

  • The University of Brimingham (United Kingdom)

  • Stichting katholieke universiteit (Netherlands)

  • SPES (Italy)

  • EMES European Research Network ASBL (Belgium)

  • Centre national de la Recherche Scientifique (France)

  • Universitat de Valencia (Spain)

  • Pravni fakultet Sveucilista u Zagrebu (Croatia)

  • Uniwersytet Warszawski (Poland)

  • Renzo Razzano (Italy).

Av Kullerud Hilde (
Publisert 12. des. 2013 10:06