- Michael Brintnall, Montgomery College, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gyorgy Hajnal, NISPAcee President / Professor, Head of Department, Corvinus University of Budapest / Senior Researcher, Institute for Political Science, Center for Social Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (IPS CSR HAS), Hungary, email@example.com
- Iga Kender-Jeziorska, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aims of the Working Group:
The working group is focused on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and their participation in governance in the states and regions of Central and Eastern Europe. Our broad objective is to create a forum for the intellectual and practical exploration of the role that NGOs play – independently and in collaboration with government institutions – in governance and in defining, shaping and achieving the public good. We define non-governmental organisations broadly and are especially interested in those whose mission is strongly related to the public interest and whose work is in areas such as governance, social and health services, public policy, citizen participation, human rights, and/or humanitarian aid, from all sides of the political and social spectrum.
Focus, expectations and topics for the 2020 conference:
The general theme of the Working Group on NGOs’ panel for the 2020 conference continues to be the role and performance of NGOs in governance in CEE countries, neighbouring regions and within the context of European integration. While we welcome work on all aspects of this broad theme, we are particularly interested in learning about the following topics:
- Factors affecting the sustainability of NGOs in CEE countries. Sustainability invites attention, of course, to levels of financial support available, to sources of such support, as well as to the character of such support and the role of donors from within and outside the region. How do entities relying on government support differ in their initiatives and functioning from those supported independently of the state? In 2020, we hope to organise a special Donors’ Panel with representatives of funding entities within and outside the region.
- Sustainability also raises questions about NGO management and leadership. How are NGOs and related organisations attracting, developing and retaining talented personnel for management and for oversight, and what are the prospects for the future? What management strategies are adopted in different contexts (e.g. friendly versus hostile operational environment)? What is the role of volunteers in various organisations?
- Bridging the gap between academia and praxis in the analysis and management of civil society also continues as a priority for 2020. Building bridges between scholars and practitioners can have benefits for NGOs and academia alike, such as joint initiatives involving applying participatory action research to policy challenges, fostering service learning in the classroom, and better sharing of practical experience. What are the examples of existing multisector models of governance in the region, in which NGOs and government are seeking to work together? What are the points of conflict? What is the role of civil liberties/watchdog NGOs in countries of Central and Eastern Europe?
- Following suggestive work from previous working group sessions, we are interested in the intersection of gender and the work of NGO’s in the region – both in terms of how the agendas of NGOs address issues related to public policies relevant to women or ethnic minorities; and in terms of how the creation, management and oversight of NGOs may be gendered. Are NGOs a potential entry point into the policy-making and public management systems for groups traditionally less included (either directly or as an entrance point for later engagement)?
- Government policy perspective, i.e. government views on and responses to the activities of certain NGOs. How do governments perceive and act upon the policy issues (both opportunities and challenges) set for them by NGOs operation? How does government policy change in this regard? What are the similarities and differences between policy sectors and/or between countries?
In addition, themes such as the following are pertinent and of interest:
- What is the role of NGO’s in governance and provision of public services at the national and local level in CEE countries, and how is this shaped by public attitudes, government policy, legislation, and financial support?
- What is the state of human rights/civil rights/ watchdog NGOs in various countries in the region? Does their situation differ from that of service-delivery organisations?
- What conflicts arise between the state and the organisations in the voluntary sector? What are their causes, consequences and ways to overcome them?
- What are the relationships between organisations within the third sector itself, in the region and globally, and how are they shaped?
- How do NGOs operate and how are they managed?
- What is the level of professionalisation of NGOs? What are the tools and methods that are applied by NGOs to plan interventions/programmes, monitor them, and evaluate their effectiveness and efficiency?
- How are emerging digital technologies and social media influencing the work of NGOs in civil society, both in terms of efficiencies and of engagement?
Recently, both the non-governmental sector and the geographical area of Central and Eastern Europe have been attracting the attention of some first-class international publishers. Our Working Group, being in the process of negotiations with a few specific top publishing houses, invites high-quality papers that, given their sufficient number, would have a chance to be compiled in a planned monograph addressing the third sector in the region.
Guidelines for the contributors:
We welcome abstracts from all scholars and professionals with an interest in the non-governmental sector and in multi-sector governance processes, including from practitioners working in the sector and we invite all to join us for the 28th NISPAcee Annual Conference in Split (Croatia). We welcome papers with a theoretical, empirical, and/or analytical focus that relate to the above mentioned themes.
Abstracts will be judged on the relevance and quality of the submission based on the following criteria:
• Clear and concise description of the paper, conveying its importance and significance in the field.
• Originality of the work.
• Quality of the research design and methodology.
• Relevance of the proposal to the Conference’s theme.
• Title: Clear title reflecting the paper content.
• Authors and their affiliation.
• Abstract: We expect abstracts between 200-400 words. In the case of empirical studies, it should include the research design, clearly stated research questions, data sources, data collection procedures, the analytic approach and, if possible, results.
• Practical applications to the field should be also mentioned.