Association Promotion and Solidarity
The Volunteering Support Centre for the Lazio Region
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Third Sector Impact  

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Measuring impact. Enhancing visibility

The research project "The contribution of third sector to the socio-economic development of Europe" is financed by the European Commission - DG Research through the VII Framework Programme (FP7).

Duration: 36 months (2014-2016)

All info on: www.thirdsectorimpact.eu

SPES coordinates a transversal work package dedicated to the involvement of the third sector and of public bodies in the whole research process, on European level and in target countries.

The primary objective of the research project is to create knowledge that can further investigate the contributions that the third sector and volunteering can offer to the socio-economic development of Europe. These unique "renewable resources" for resolving social and economic problems and for harnessing the civic engagement in Europe are more than ever necessary in this phase of social and economic suffering and enormous pressure on government budgets - not as an alternative to public bodies but as a full-fledged partner in promoting European progress. In order for this resource to be harnessed to its best potential, we need to understand more clearly the scope and scale of the third sector, of its existent and potential impacts and of the barriers that stop the third sector from offering its full contribution to the common wellbeing.

Project coordinator

Bernard Enjolras - Institutt for samfunnsforskning - Norvegia


  • Institutt for samfunnsforskning - Norvegia
  • The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Bologna - Italia
  • Wirtschaftsuniversitat Wien - Austria
  • University of Kent - Gran Bretagna
  • Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster - Germany
  • University of Southampton - Gran Bretagna
  • Stichting Katholieke Universiteit - Paesi Bassi
  • Emes European Research Network Asbl - Belgio
  • Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique - Francia
  • Universitat de Valencia - Spagna
  • Pravni Fakultet Sveucilista u Zagrebu - Croazia
  • Uniwersytet Warszawski - Polonia
  • SPES - Centro di Servizio per il Volontariato del Lazio - Italia

Objectives and key actions

  1. Definition

    Clarify the concept of the third sector in its European manifestations.
  2. Data

    Identify the principal contours of the third sector - its dimension, structure, composition, funding sources and recent trends (quantitative comparative research).
  3. Impact

    Identify the impact of the third sector, its contributions to the European economic development, innovation, well-being of citizens, civic engagement and human development; and build the capacities to measure such contributions in the future.
  4. Barriers

    Identify barriers both internal and external to organisations and suggest ways in which these barriers can be overcome.

Transversal objective: stakeholders' engagement

Build a partnership between the research community and the third sector leaders and professionals so that the understanding of the third sector generated through research work may remain anchored to reality and can count on sufficient support from key stakeholders, capable to command respectful attention from the decision makers.

This project is supported by the European Commission through the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

European Commission - FP7

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CALLS for proposals and financing opportunities on the portal volontariato.lazio.it; new window.
IL TROVAVOLONTARIATO volunteers matching service; enter the world of solidarity; new window.
Spes Documentation centre on volunteering and third sector in collaboration with Feo-Fivol; new window.
Spes Civil Service projects; new window.
Good Deeds Day; new window.
Insieme per il Bene Comune, GDD2017 in Rome; new window.
Civil protection on the portal volontariato.lazio.it; new window.
Search for associations; voluntary organisations data base on the portal volontariato.lazio.it; new window.