- 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 Jeziorska, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gyorgy Hajnal, 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
Aims of the Working Group
The working group is focused on the third sector, including civil society organisations, hereinafter referred to as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and their participation in governance in the states and regions of Central-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, education, public policy, citizen participation, human rights, watchdog activities and/or humanitarian aid, from all sides of the political and social spectrum.
Focus, expectations and topics for the 2022 conference
The main theme of the Working Group on NGOs for the 2022 conference is 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:
- 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 COVID-19 outbreak?
- Regardless of COVID-19, 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), and donors’ profiles from within and outside 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 are the role of NGOs in governance and the 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 role of NGOs in new ways of providing public services (e.g. co-creation, participatory budgeting, behavioural economy insights and nudges, etc.)?
- What are the examples of existing multi-sector 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? How do the NGOs act as potential entry points into policy-making? How do governments perceive and act upon the policy issues set for them by NGOs’ operation?
- What is the role of the civil liberties/watchdog NGOs in CEE countries? What is the state of the 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? What is the level of trust towards NGOs in CEE countries?
- How do 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 and 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?
Our Working Group is in the process of negotiations with several top publishing houses, so we invite 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 30th NISPAcee Annual Conference in Bucharest (Romania). We welcome papers with a theoretical, empirical, and/or analytical focus that relate to the abovementioned 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 theme.
Submitted abstract should include the following elements:
• Title: Clear title reflecting the paper content.
• Authors and their affiliation.
• Abstract 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 also be mentioned.
From participants of this working group extended abstract (5-10 pages) with brief introduction, methodology, preliminary results and conclusion is required before the conference.
Deadline of full paper submission is 20th of May 2022.