- Paula-Mariana BEUDEAN, Public Administration and Management Department, ”Babeș-Bolyai” University, Romania, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mária Murray Svidroňová, Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, email@example.com
- Iga Kender-Jeziorska, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, 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
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 (CEE). 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 defining, shaping and achieving the public good. We define NGOs broadly and we are especially interested in those whose mission is strongly related to the public interest and that work 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 2021 conference
The general theme of the Working Group on NGOs panel for the 2021 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 especially interested in the following topics:
● What are the factors affecting the sustainability of NGOs in CEE countries and how do these factors, such as financial support, funding sources (public/private), donors’ profiles from within and outside of the region affect their sustainability? How do entities relying on government support differ in their initiatives and functioning from those supported independently of the state?
● What is the role of NGOs 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?
● How do governments perceive and act upon the policy issues set for them by NGOs’ operations? How does government policy change in this regard? What are the similarities and differences between policy sectors and/or between countries? How do the NGOs act as potential entry points into the policy-making for groups traditionally less included?
● What are the examples of existing multisector models of governance in the region, in which NGOs, government, academia, businesses and other stakeholders are seeking to work together? What are the points of conflict? What is the role of civil liberties/watchdog NGOs in CEE countries?
● What is the state of human rights/civil rights/watchdog NGOs in various countries in the region? Does their situation differ from service-delivery organisations?
● What are the relationships between organisations within the third sector itself, in the region and globally, and how are they shaped?
● How does NGOs management and leadership evolve? How are NGOs attracting, developing and retaining talented personnel, and what are the prospects for the future? What management strategies are adopted in different contexts (e.g. friendly versus a hostile operational environment)? What is the role of volunteers in various organisations?
● What is the level of professionalisation of NGOs? What tools and methods are applied by NGOs to plan interventions/programmes, monitor, and evaluate them?
● Regarding the intersection of gender and the work of NGOs, how do the agendas of NGOs address issues related to public policies relevant to women or ethnic minorities and how are the creation, management and oversight of NGOs gendered?
● How have NGOs assumed new roles in response to the COVID-19 health crisis? In what ways have they been able to respond differently from the public sector? In what ways has the sector been affected by the crisis in terms of resources, service delivery, human resources and health and security measures, client relationships, possible contested authority, suppression from state actors, and increasing authoritarianism in some governments?
● How are emerging digital technologies and social media influencing the work of NGOs in civil society? What is the NGOs’ readiness for online service delivery and "working from home” strategies, in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak?
The Working Group is in the process of negotiations with a few specific top publishing houses, and 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 CEE region.
Guidelines for the contributors
We welcome abstracts from all scholars and professionals with an interest in the NGO sector and in multi-sector governance processes, including from practitioners working in the sector and we invite all to join us for the 29th NISPAcee Annual Conference in Ljubljana (Slovenia). 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
Submitted abstract should include the following elements:
• 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.