Dimensions of the Third Sector: Comparative Perspectives on Structure and Change - Helmut ANHEIER
Director, Centre for Civil Society London School of Economics
[Abstract] Cross-nationally, the introduction of New Public Management coincides with a significant growth phase of the nonprofit or third sector. This growth has disproportionately been an expansion of the economic dimensions (employment, turnover) and basically involved the greater use of third sector organisations as service providers. Such provision uses complex contract regimes, and typically takes place in some form of public-private partnership with either public or private funding agencies. Other parts of the third sector such as membership, volunteering and giving have generally grown less. The paper suggests that the sector is becoming qualitatively different, although the nature and strength of this change depends on the nonprofit regime type in a given country. Generally, however, third sector growth has led to differentiation processes that involve new organisational forms, and changes in activities and overall composition. The paper explores the measurement aspects of the quantitative-qualitative jump in third sector development by trying to “map” changes in core facts or dimensions over time. In closing, the paper suggests to examine recombination and refunctionality processes in the third sector.
Social Functions of the Third Sector: Concepts and Perspectives - Terence YUEN Darwin CHEN
Researcher, The Third Sector Research Project
Vice President for Asia, United Way International
[Abstract] The purpose of this article is to draw attention to, and arouse the interest of local academics and practitioners in the third sector on, the roles and social functions of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in particular its contributions to effective public governance. The article is divided into two main parts: first, an examination of the different theories and concepts of the third sector, and a description of two theoretical models devised to explain the relationship between governments and NGOs; second, consideration of the related notion of “public governance,” with a brief analysis of the contributions of the third sector to effective public governance, as well as the applicability of this concept to the context of Hong Kong. Finally, an agenda for future research study is proposed for the reference of academics, government officials and NGO practitioners.
Levels of Participation and Promotion of Volunteering Around the World - Susan K.E. SAXON-HARROLD
Susan K.E. SAXON-HARROLD
Vice President for Research, Independent Sector
[Abstract] The nature of volunteering in different countries depends on the economic, social and political make-up of the country and its stage of development. Despite the differences, volunteering brings benefits to both at large society and the individual volunteer. However, the forces of globalization are restricting the civic involvement among young people, and thus determine the future decline of volunteering. Aging is another trend that increases the burden on volunteer care services on the one hand, but opens up new opportunities for voluntary work among active seniors on the other. The spread of the Internet also opens up new opportunities for home-base involvement in volunteering. Theories of market or government failure in the United States (Salamon and Anheier, 1998) have also raised public concern that government might be tempted to cut back on public spending in the knowledge that volunteers will step in to fill any gaps left by the withdrawal of business or the state. Nevertheless, increasing interest by the private sector in volunteering in recent years has raised awareness of the value of volunteering as part of a broader community investment strategy, and as a means of staff development (Davis Smith, 1999). On the basis of current research and practice around the world, governments, nonprofits and the private sector could act together to stimulate volunteering by: viewing volunteering as a strategic activity in society; increasing public awareness as to the value of volunteering; promoting youth volunteering; establishing an enabling legal and fiscal environment; promoting private sector support to encourage employees to volunteer; and influencing international organizations by raising issues associated with volunteering for discussion and action.
The Rise and Decline of the Third Sector: Lessons from Hong Kong - Nelson W.S. CHOW
Nelson W.S. CHOW
Chair Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong
[Abstract] The article discusses the definition of the Third Sector, as well as its functions and mission. Especially highlighted are its divergence from Governmental and Commercial sectors and its role in meeting the needs of the people based on this difference. The article also assesses the development of the Third Sector with special reference to Hong Kong and determines the need for greater sensitivity and sacrifice on the part of the community. It stresses the efforts of individuals in their concern for the welfare of others as a major incentive for the development of the Third Sector.
The Third Sector and the Development of Youth Volunteerism in Hong Kong - Rosanna WONG Yick-ming
Rosanna WONG Yick-ming
Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
[Abstract] This article briefly narrates the current situation of the Third Sector in Hong Kong. It further explores the contributions of the Third Sector to society at large and discusses some of the concerns that its expansion may cause. The author stresses that the spirit of volunteering is one of the crucial characteristics of the Third Sector and she shares the experience of the launch in 1998 of the Youth Volunteer Network (VNET) - a youth volunteer scheme initiated by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups - as an illustration of this point. She also explains that VNET has a five-level award scheme, which is a positive step in recognizing and accrediting volunteering among youth. The author further states that the promotion of youth volunteerism can play a significant role in the nurturing of young people to create a caring and harmonious community in the long run.
International Year of Volunteers 2001──Youth Volunteerism in the New Millennium - Carrie LAM
Director of Social Welfare
Chairperson, Steering Committee on Volunteer Movement
[Abstract] According to “Volunteering Worldwide”, a newly published document by the International Association of Volunteer Efforts, about 20% to 30% of the population in the western world participates in volunteer services. By comparison, it is estimated that only 3% to 4% of people in Hong Kong take part in volunteering, indicating that there is clearly room for improvement. As a result, The Volunteer Movement was launched with this goal in mind. In promoting volunteerism across all sectors, it is observed that 190,000 volunteers registered with the Social Welfare Department, of which 44% are between the ages of 13 and 25. This is encouraging, but the figure still constitutes only 5% of the total youth population of 1.5 million in Hong Kong. There is a need to encourage more young people to participate and commit to volunteer work in order to serve the community. To facilitate an increased participation, it is necessary to formulate a future work direction on youth volunteering in which focus will be placed on enhancing youth’s understanding of the meaning of volunteering, as well as providing varied and lively opportunities for young people to experience the joys and benefits of volunteering. As young people are the future, the promotion of volunteerism among this sector will ensure long-term benefits, not only in terms of volunteering efforts, but also in laying a solid foundation for a caring society.
Sharing of Experiences
> Flexible and Effective Services by Adolescents - John Wan
> International Volunteering : An Invaluable Bond in our Global Community - Olivier BONNET
> The Voluntary Services of the Hong Kong Federation of Women - Peggy LAM
> Racing for Charity - David YAU
> The Spirit of Volunteering : Active Participation - Spencer LI
> Giving and Volunteering - An Electricity Safety Programme for the Elderly - WONG Ching Ngok
> Building Community through Social Responsibility - Citibank Community Services Team
> The Spirit of Johnathan Livingston Seagull - Shui On Seagull Club
> Volunteering Nurtures Social Participation - Claudia MA