|ISTR Award Information|
ISTR is pleased to announce the winners of the first Civil Society Policy Impact Research Award (2020) Two prizes are awarded for research documenting effective civil society action resulting in a demonstrable public policy change. The winners are:
Aline Goncalves de Souza & Eduardo Pannunzio
The Role of CSOs and Academy in Changing Public Policy: A Brief Case Study of Provisional Measure 870/2019 When there was a threat to civil society under a new government plan to introduce highly restrictive NGO legislation, one researcher wrote and circulated a detailed working paper. That document galvanized a national campaign and ultimately improved the provisions of the approved law of associations
This is an excellent example of the potential power of policy research to stimulate effective advocacy. Strong writing is often undervalued or overshadowed by other achievements, both in academia and society more broadly. In this case, it catalyzed civic groups to work together toward a unified goal. Souza and Pannunzio have demonstrated how researchers can give voice to those in the civic sector who otherwise would lack access to media resources.
This award is presented biennially for an outstanding paper in VOLUNTAS that contributes to the field of civil society, third sector, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, voluntarism and related issues.
Best Paper Award:
Research work on hybrid organizations has become a favorite topic by scholars and practitioners alike. The paper by Wolf and Mair on hybrid organizations, specifically on social enterprises, is however more proactive: it makes an original contribution to the study of hybrid organizations by focusing on governance mechanisms that provide a new perspective, away from the traditional control view on organizations.
Indeed, the paper makes a strong focus on a key challenge of social enterprises (i.e., mission drift) and suggests an important approach to expanding governance concerns beyond narrow compliance questions. It brings home the point by drawing on the legacy of the old institutional theory on purpose, commitment, and coordinating around small wins, but treating these as interlocking governance mechanisms that allow social enterprises as hybrid organizations to mitigate the risk of mission drift.
Despite the obvious absence of empirical data, the paper is no doubt theoretically solid, exhaustive, and relevant. Wolf and Mair’s paper is solid in its theoretical review and in the use of literature to lodge the new knowledge it has created and by which it weaves the study’s discourse and elucidates its theoretical arguments. Based on the objectives and the scope of the paper, the use of theory and related studies nevertheless warranted the analysis and conclusions. Its research methodology is therefore robust, while providing strong analytical frameworks as probable bases for tests in future empirical research.
The paper is highly relevant in terms of policy for the third sector in different countries, giving valuable sense by arguing on the importance of going beyond control and compliance approaches in hybrid organizations. The paper especially stresses on the intertwined mechanisms: coordinating around small wins as a governance mechanism provides the opportunity to align both commitment and purpose over time and to ensure continuous adaptation and development of the organization. Essentially, the paper introduces a governance approach that recognizes features providing for space for proactivity and self-correction. This theoretical argument helps to unlock mind boggling pressures of how social enterprises may cope with how to align multiple institutional pressures and demands within and outside of the organization, that is, a fresh look that focuses on common ends rather than diverging means.
The Obligation to Volunteer as Fair Reciprocity? Welfare Recipients’ Perceptions of Giving Back to Society
By: Thomas Kampen, Lex Veldboer, & Reinout Kleinhans
Voluntas Vol. 30 (2019) : No. 5 (October), pp. 991–1005
The paper’s original contribution is its slant on the impacts of mandatory volunteering while bringing in a strong social justice analysis. The paper has clear implications for social justice, welfare states, and touches on broader debates on volunteerism across countries. The paper uses solid research method by adopting in-depth qualitative analysis conducted over an extended period of time (2009 to 2013) and is rigorous and critical in its analysis.
The global pandemic and resultant rise in global unemployment makes this paper more relevant than ever! Its approach to focus on the volunteers is excellent. The different responses and views of volunteers shed light on the practice and the impact of the reward system associated with labor. Indeed, the paper is theoretically sound with clear options for extending the research to other contexts.
This said however, the paper’s relevance depends a bit on how prevalent underlying policies may be or become in the future. Also the analytical discussion and social justice issues may vary significantly vary from country to country and whether or not some countries may actually have volunteering policies at all. For other countries, the concept of "mandatory volunteering itself" may also sound controversial. Nevertheless, the paper merits its recognition as Honorable Mention.
Thanks to all our hardworking and conscientious committee members, as this work wouldn’t have been possible without the painstaking and valuable work of our esteemed members: Alice Acejas (Philippines), Marzina Begum (Bangladesh), Monica Estudillo (Mexico), Armine Ishkanian ( U.K.), Rafaella Rametta (Italy), Kimberly Reed (USA), Itamar Shachar (Belgium), and Hans Schmitz (USA).
Our congratulations to the Top Winners!
Best Paper Award 2017
Best Paper Award 2016
Voluntas Best Paper Awards, 2016 & 2017
Patricia Mendonça (Brazil)
How Civil Society Organizations Foster Insurgent Citizenship: Lessons from the Brazilian Landless Movement
February 2016, Volume 27, Issue I, pp 19-36.
Abdulrazak Karriem, University of Western Cape Town, South Africa
Lehn M. Benjamin, Indiana University, United States
When we speak today of insurgent practices, the differences between north and south seem to dissolve. On both sides problems stemming from inequalities, struggle to access and secure basic social services, as well as increasing intolerance and political polarization, show that dialogues that exchanges can fertilize important dialogues. This paper helps us build some of these theoretical and empirical bridges.
Its empirical focus on Brazil, do not prevent this research to produce insights applicable to the third sector in many (perhaps most) countries. Primary data is presented from an extensive fieldwork, encompassing a range of methods over a period of time. In terms of theory, the paper draws on the literature of social movements literature, citizenship, and organisational practices of CSOs. The concept of insurgent citizenship is used to bring these three strands of literature together.
The main original contribution of the paper is demonstrating similarities where one expects differences. Analysing organisational strategies, employed by the Brazilian Landless Movement to empower the poor, the authors draw convincing parallels with service-providing CSOs. Most scholars and practitioners in the field tend to think of social movements and social service CSOs as very different in their daily functioning. This article proves otherwise. Another original contribution of the work is a systematic study of an internal dynamics of the Brazilian Landless Movement. While there are many studies of social movements, few scholars are able to see and describe a movement "from the inside," through the eyes of its participants, to the extent this article does.
As policy implication, the article provides insights on how to promote participation, build solidarity and encourage participants in defining and re-defining the problems and courses of action. It describes practices, strategies and tactics of a successful long-lasting social movement. Those working on empowering poor and marginalized communities can learn from this article how to organise and sustain a movement, an organisation, or a self-help group.
Is My Volunteer Job Not Real Work? The Experiences of Migrant Women with Finding Employment Through Volunteer Work October 2017, Volume 28, Isuue 5, pp 1900–1921
Jasmin Slootjes, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Thomas Kampen, University for Humanistic Studies, The Netherlands
This paper is an original contribution in that it focuses not only on the rights based issues of migration, but critically examines volunteering within the context of migration.
The authors engage with the literature and theories of volunteering, citizenship, and welfare, drawing on original research with Turkish, Moroccan and Surinamese women in the Netherlands.
This work innovates on several fronts, it links the discussion of volunteering to the very current and relevant issue of migration, focusing on women. Research results reflect an extensive qualitative work based on life stories.
They develop a theoretical framework by identifying the existing policy goals and rationales behind workfare volunteering as a tool to promote integration and to relate these policy rationales to the models of citizenship from which they originate. It brings a critical approach to examine the gaps between policy aims and outcomes.
It draws on the findings from the Netherlands, but the issues it addresses are relevant to many other countries across the globe given the global nature of migration.
The paper has very clear policy implications around workfare and volunteering policies. It shows the outcomes (intended and unintended) of such policies. It particularly offers a critique of workfare volunteering as a set of policies which are becoming more widespread in many countries in Europe and North America. The conclusion ends with policy suggestions for 3rd sector organisations as well as policy makers about the limits of volunteering in the context of migrant integration into the labour markets of recipient states.
The authors' most original contribution is to put aside assumptions of what formal cooperation between civil society and activists should look like. Instead, they looked at reality and found that in all four cities there were activists who both criticized the formality and financial ties of NGOs but also made use of NGO offices for meeting space, and/or relied on NGO research. In other cases, paid NGO employees participated in street protests as individuals. These common patterns generally prevailed, despite differences between, for example, London, where civil society organizations are well established, and Yerevan, where civil society organizations were often created by foreign donors.
Best Paper Award 2014
PRESENT AND PAST RECIPIENTS:
Surreptitious Symbiosis: Engagement Between Activists and NGOs
Integrated Organizational Identity: A Definition of Hybrid Organizations and a Research Agenda
Best Article in Voluntas Awards 2014
The committee has made their selection for 2014 and will select the best 2015 paper next year.
For 2014, the committee has selected:
Integrated Organizational Identity: A Definition of Hybrid Organizations and a Research Agenda
Urs P. Jäger and Andreas Schröer
In assessing the many valuable articles published in 2014 by Voluntas, we, as a committee, based our assessment on theoretical and empirical quality, wide conceptual applicability (to many countries), originality, and policy implications. This article met all of these criteria. Although extremely complex, this article was theoretically sophisticated, and based on a wide range of studies by other scholars. Conceptually, it is applicable to civil society anywhere. The article is highly original, since the authors were able, for the first time, to bring together a diverse and very extensive literature. Finally, the article has strong policy implications, provided that “policy” is not confined to the governmental sector. For example, the authors recommend that “functional solidarity,” which is the defining overall identity of hybrid organizations, should be reflected in mission statements integrating market and civil society values, or impact assessments, or board members representing different sectors.
This article has the additional virtue of providing an overview of the research on hybrid organizations that combine social needs with market activities. More specifically, according to the authors, hybrid organizations “calculate the market value of communal solidarity and trade this solidarity for financial and non-financial rewards.”
Jäger and Schröer’s article also categorizes research on hybrids and lays out a wide research agenda that will be of use to what is already an increasing number of interested scholars. First, they lay out four streams of research on hybrids:
1) Enterprising Nonprofits
2) Socially Responsible Businesses/ Corporate Responsibility
3) Social Enterprise, Social Busines, Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation
4) Hybrid Organizations as Constitutive of the Nonprofit Sector.
Second, they focus on individual, structural and practice-based approaches to organizational identity as a way of conceptualizing hybridity. All of this is complex, but clarified by a table that places these approaches on one axis and market, hybrid or civil society identity on the other.
The committee looks forwarding to reading all of the articles published in 2015, and to selecting the best paper in time for the Stockholm Conference.
Best Article in Voluntas Awards 2012 & 2013
By Kari Steen-Johnsen, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Research, Oslo, Norway
ISTR’s journal Voluntas is a highly productive journal, which has published an increasing number of articles in recent years, and which has also become indexed in the ISI Social Citation Index. Voluntas published 49 papers in 2012 and 53 in 2013. This included one special issue on civil society in Africa, and several thematic sections; on non profits and the provision of social services, on fundraising and on charity accounting, reporting and regulation. Reflecting the character of this academic society, the articles published spanned a wide range of thematics, and a varied set of theoretical and methodological approaches.
To read the full article, click here.
Best Article in Voluntas Awards 2011
By Adalbert Evers, Professor for Comparative Health and Social Policy, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany
The Best Article in Voluntas Award is a newly created award generously funded by our publisher, Springer. The award is to be given biennially at the ISTR International Conference for the Best Article in Voluntas during the previous two year period. A committee was established to read the journal articles for 2010 and 2011 and select the best article. The committee included Adalbert Evers, Germany (chair); Eliza Lee, Hong Kong; Kari Steen-Johnsen, Norway; and Ebenezer Obadare, USA.
To read the full article, click here.
This award, established in 2006 by an anonymous donor, is given once every two years at the biennial ISTR conference to the author of the best dissertation in the field of comparative study of civil society organizations, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and voluntarism and related issues.
The purpose of the award is to encourage young scholars to enter the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies throughout the world.
ISTR Emerging Scholar Dissertation Award 2018 Report
The Emerging Scholar Dissertation Award is presented biennially for a PhD dissertation completed, or defended, in the two calendar years preceding the Award. It recognises work that makes an outstanding contribution to the knowledge on, thinking about, and study and understanding of, the third sector and its associated areas and fields.
For the 2018 Award, 61 submissions were received. This represented a marked increase over the 23 and 40 submissions in 2014 and 2016 respectively. Reflecting ISTR’s international constituency, submissions covered all continents, bar Antarctica. The overall quality of the entries, the diversity of the topics approached, the scope of areas addressed, as well as the spectrum of research methods utilised, left a very positive impression with the members of this year’s Selection Committee. The latter included, and benefitted from the time and expertise of, Cleopatra Charles (Rutgers University), Gemma Donnelly-Cox (Trinity College Dublin), Jenny Harrow (City, University of London), Barbara Ibrahim (The American University in Cairo), Tobias Jung (University of St Andrews), Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim (Brandeis University), and Rupert Count Strachwitz (Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society).
From the pool of submissions, the Committee identified three finalists. All three were outstanding; all three fared very strongly against the Award’s criteria. Of these, the winner of the ISTR Emerging Scholar Dissertation Award 2018 is Andrew Heiss’ dissertation on “Amicable Contempt: The Strategic Balance between Dictators and International NGOs”.
Examining the activities and adaption of international nongovernmental organisations (INGOs) in the context of increasing global restrictions on civic space, Andrew’s dissertation addresses the paradox that while INGOs’ service and advocacy activities can threaten the legitimacy and power of authoritarian regimes, numerous autocratic states still allow the work of INGOs; similarly, despite limitations and restrictions on their own activities, numerous INGOs continue to operate in these countries. Thus, the idea put forward and explored throughout the dissertation is that the relationship between INGOs and autocratic regimes is a state of amicable contempt: each party is aware that the other both threatens and supports their existence.
Focusing on the timeframe of 1991 to 2014, and on the three cases of Egypt, Russia and China, the dissertation addresses questions about: Why do regimes allow INGOs to work in their country? What influences INGO decision making in restrictive environments? How do regimes reap the benefits of INGOs programming? How do INGOs adapt to restrictions? A creative, detailed and thorough examination of an increasingly important international issue, the dissertation thereby provides a strong theoretical basis for examining INGO-dictator relationships. Additionally, it offers a diversity of practical findings that can be used by local and international NGOs to manage risk and to improve their likelihood of survival and impact of their work.
Alongside Andrew Heiss’ work, the Selection Committee also acknowledges the merit and achievements of the two other finalists. First of all, Nora Derbal, for her dissertation “Charity for the Poor in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1961–2015.” Using an in-depth case study approach, Nora’s work examines the discourses and practices of welfare associations and informal charity organizations in support of the poor in Jeddah. The dissertation points to how associational practices of charity are important expressions of modern civic activism in Saudi Arabia, and how this activism has created diverse spaces, rich in social and symbolic capital, which allow for a certain degree of self-governance under authoritarianism. Well-written and very reflective, the thesis offers fascinating and novel insights into this area.
Secondly, Sara Compion, for her dissertation “Volunteering And Democratization In Southern Africa: A Structural And Cultural Analysis”. Taking a mixed method approach, Sara’s work brings together two overarching strands for developing better understanding of volunteering in Africa and across different African settings. To this end, the work examines two overarching research question. The first focuses on the resources, attitudes and contexts of volunteering and asks ‘Who are the African volunteers?’. The second examines ‘Why do people volunteer?’ and examines issues of identity, motives and behaviours. Taken together, the work offers a timely and important contribution to stronger understanding of volunteerism from within, and across, parts of the African continent.
All three dissertations impressed the committee. They provide valuable insights for third sector theories, practices and policies; they offer strong foundations for further work and engagement. Together with the wider set of submissions received, the work done by ISTR’s emerging scholars thus fares well for the present and future of third sector research, and for the area’s potential to positively contribute to civil society and to civil societies.
ISTR Emerging Scholar Dissertation Award Winners, Past and Present Recipients
Sara Compion (USA; Kean University)
Laura J. Heideman (USA, Northern Illinois University)
Making Society 'Civil': Donors, NGOs, and Peacebuilding in Postwar Croatia
Jochen Kleres (Sweden, Göteborgs Universitet)
Jennifer Brass (USA)
Surrogates for Government? NGOs and the State in Kenya
Benjamin Huybrechts (Belgium)
Georgina Brewis (U.K.)
Francoise Montabeault (Canada)
This award is presented biennially for an outstanding poster that contributes to the field of civil society, third sector, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, voluntarism and related issues.
2018 Best Poster Award
The Entre-Maisons Ahuntsic - A Collaborative Project at the Hearth of Low-rent Housing Units
Andre-Anne Parent; Stéphanie Tourillon-Gingras; et Christian Jetté, Université de Montréal
In presenting the award, Stefan Toepler, chair of the publications committee, which is responsible for selecting the winner for best poster, said "in selecting our awardee, we look for both intellectual and visual appeal of the poster. Intellectually, we look for clearly presented statements of the research question and approach that also convince through concision. Visually, we like posters that utilize different design elements without being distracting and that easily guide the eye along … bonus points go to posters that manage to do so without overtaxing the eyes of the grey-haired crowd and do not force us to open the magnification app on our iphones." Click here to see the award winning poster!
2016 Best Poster Award
by Jacqueline Butcher
On behalf of the publications committee, I am delighted to present the best poster award tonight. The work on this award committee is particularly rewarding in many ways, reviewing the posters allows us to gain an excellent overview of a range of very exciting research projects, without – frankly - having to spend weekend after weekend reading the dissertations or Voluntas articles, like the colleagues from the other two award committees have to do. More, as Paul Dekker rightly noted last year, in this age of the Internet, posters with short texts, infographics and other visualization tools are really where all our futures will likely lie.
Perhaps as a reflection of this, a slight increase in the number of posters this year compared to Muenster, without any noticeable decline in quality of them. The committee – Paul Dekker, Stefan Toepler and myself – was very impressed by their high quality. We particularly liked that it was not just students, but also senior and experienced scholars in our field that decided to make use of the poster forward – – two very good effect. A trend that the committee hopes will continue in future conference.
Nevertheless, we ended up choosing the poster of the PhD student for the award. There were a great number of posters this year that scored very well on all of the main criteria: scientific relevance, practical significance, visual attractiveness and a strong focus on the main issues, be it the results of finished research or the choices and questions for ongoing research. The most enticing combination of these we found in the poster
“Whose Value? Exploring social value and impact through the voice of charity users and employees”
Cath Anne Hill of Lancaster University drew us in with a visual representation of a fairytale book. In it, she told the tale of her narrative research approach to developing a values-based social impact concept that draws on the voices of clients and employees. In our modern world, where everything is about markets and measures rather than values and what is important about being nonprofit, this almost sounds like a fairytale; the committee very much hopes it will come true, and we will be looking forward to reading the conclusions of Cath Anne’s research in due course in Voluntas.
Congratulations on a very well done poster and a very interesting and promising research project!
2014 Best Poster Award
The best poster award is smaller than the best dissertation and the best Voluntas paper award, and the poster jury needed to reach a decision in only a fraction of the time needed by the colleagues of the other two awards, but the poster award is actually the most important one. For let us be realistic: many people do not read dissertations, they hardly read articles. They might quote them if they are available on the internet, but that is it. We are going to shorter and shorter texts and infographics and other visualization tools are becoming more important to get attention. So posters are by far the best way to communicate research and research findings: you have to present everything in an attractive way on less than a square meter for consumption and consideration in less time than a TED talk.
To read the full article, click here.
PRESENT AND PAST RECIPIENTS:
Cath Hill (Lancaster University)
Iwanig Le Vaillant (France, Universite de Nantes)
A new innovation for ISTR, this experimental competition offered a light-hearted way for students in the ISTR PhD Seminar to practice the art of distilling their ideas down to the core questions and concerns in 3 minutes and 1 PowerPoint slide. Ten students all gave very good presentations and the experience was fun for the audience. A prize was awarded to the person who made the case for their research in the most clear and compelling manner, and the winner made her presentation to the entire plenary. But besides the fun, the 3-minute thesis teaches important lessons – research should be designed to be useful, and in order to be useful (and in order to funded!) the users need to understand it and believe in it. Sometimes 3-minutes are all we have to get the attention of our audience.
It is ISTR’s hope that this competition provided an opportunity to make the wider conference attendees more aware of the PhD seminar and hopefully inspired the students to feel more connected to the wider group of scholars and begin to see it as their research home into the future.
This lecture has been established by the Society to honor a member who has made a significant contribution to the field of Third Sector Research. The lecturer is asked to reflect on their work in the field of Third Sector Studies as well as the development of the field during their scholarship.
ISTR Lecture Prize Winner 2016
Stanley Katz (Professor in Public and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University, and Director of the Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies). Click here to read more.