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2018 ARNOVA Asia Conference
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2018 ARNOVA-Asia Conference


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About the Conference

The theme of the 2018 ARNOVA-Asia Conference is "Evolving Government-Third Sector Relations in Asia", which looks into the changing government-civil society interface in the region, and its implications for nonprofit management and the practice of philanthropy.

We are honoured to have Mrs Carrie Lam, GBS, GBM, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, to be the officiating guest of the Conference.



With the growing awareness of the importance of collaborative governance and civic engagement in public affairs, nonprofits and philanthropy (which connotes both giving and volunteering) have become important vehicles for harnessing societal contributions to advance social good.  The third sector not only contributes additional resources and new ideas to cope with complex social problems, but more importantly creates potentials for social innovation.  Such a promise, however, has important implications for public governance as well as the operation and development of the third sector.  This conference addresses issues involved in the evolving government-third sector relations in Asia, with a focus on the changing roles of the third sector in public affairs, and their implications for nonprofit management, philanthropic practice, and volunteering.


We are calling for papers that advance the theoretical understanding of factors activating and shaping the changing dynamic between government and the third sector, and the implications of the change for public governance and the sector’s development.  We encourage diverse theoretical approaches and methodologies including both qualitative and quantitative research; and also studies with a focus at the individual, organizational or sectoral levels.  As we strive to bridge the academic and professional communities in the study and practice of nonprofits and philanthropy, we also welcome proposals for discussion panels by practitioners which address the opportunities and challenges they face amid the changing government-third sector relations.  For these practitioner-oriented sessions, innovative modes of presentation and discussion are encouraged; they may be short presentations on case studies to provoke thoughts and discussions, panel discussions of best practices, or provocative talks.  Roundtable sessions in which academics and practitioners share their views and experiences of seizing the opportunities and meeting the challenges are also welcomed. 


We hope that, through the scholarly and professional exchanges at the conference, academics, nonprofit executives, philanthropy practitioners, social entrepreneurs, and policymakers can take the challenge of coping with the changing government-third sector relations seriously, and collaborate to meet the challenge.  Submissions of paper abstracts and panel proposals should be sent to  While the conference addresses any elements of government-third sector relations, possible areas of inquiry include (but are not confined to) the following:


·The changing government-third sector relations: What explains the different trajectories of development of government-third sector relations in different societies?  What are the political, economic, and social factors that shape the landscape and development of the third sector in particular countries?


·The third sector and civic engagement:  What are the mechanisms through which nonprofits foster or facilitate civic participation in public affairs?  How might volunteering impinge upon civic engagement? What are the outcomes and impacts of civic engagement on government-third relations? 


·Opportunities and challenges for volunteering: What are the contextual factors that shape the magnitude and forms of volunteering?  As government-third sector relations evolve, what are the new, emerging types of voluntary actions and volunteers?  What are the opportunities and challenges that the changing government-third sector relations have posed to voluntarism? 


·Institutional innovations: What are pros and cons of different institutional arrangements, such as contracting-out and outsourcing, for engaging nonprofits in public service provision?  What are the potentials and limitations of hybrid organizations such as social enterprises and community interest companies which aspire to blend social and economic values?  What are the conditions in which hybrid organizations are most effective?  What are the major governance challenges for hybrid organizations?


·New philanthropic tools: A whole array of novel philanthropic tools have emerged in the last decade, including venture capital, crowd funding, giving circles, and social impact bonds; what are opportunities offered by these new tools, and what are their limitations?


·Capacity building for charitable foundations: In the context of collaborative governance, what are the gaps in the competencies of donor foundations (family and corporate)?  How can the social impact of collaborative efforts be adequately assessed? 


·Opportunities and challenges for collaborative governance: What are the factors that hinder or promote cross-sectoral collaboration? What are the opportunities and constraints for philanthropy to participate in collaborative governance? What are the implications of collaborative governance for nonprofit management and philanthropic strategy?  


·Processes of collaboration:  How can actors from different sectors sustain collaborative endeavors?  How do they resolve conflicts, make collective choices, and build trust?  How do these processes vary across different national and cultural contexts?  How do public policies at different jurisdiction levels affect collaboration?


·Collaborative leadership: What are the attributes of leadership in collaborative governance?  In particular, what are the skills and competencies for nonprofit and philanthropic practitioners to wade through collaborative networks? 


·Cross-border collaboration: Complex social problems often go beyond jurisdictional boundaries; what are the challenges hindering cross-border collaborative efforts?  For philanthropists and non-profit executives who seek to develop international partnerships to attain collective impact, what are the opportunities and challenges they would face?  What roles can governments or academic institutions play in facilitating cross-border collaboration?


·Information and communications technology (ICT) and nonprofits: What opportunities and challenges does ICT present to nonprofits in service delivery and fund-raising?  What are the strategies that nonprofits can adopt to seize the opportunities?  


·Social media and giving behaviors: Under what conditions does ICT promote more effective giving and voluntary actions? How does ICT enable local associations and groups coordinate voluntary actions to resolve community problems?  How do social media affect giving/volunteering as a behavior spread in social networks? 



Important Dates

·Deadline for Abstracts (About 500 words): February 1, 2018 Extended to February 28

·Notification of Acceptance: February 28, 2018 Extended to March 15

·Early Bird & Author Registration Registration Deadline: March 15, 2018 Extended to March 31

·Standard Registration Deadline: May 27, 2018

·Submission of full paper: June 10, 2018


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The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) is a diverse community of scholars, educators, and practice leaders that strengthens the field of nonprofit and philanthropic research in order to improve civil society and human life.

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