Results of Latest Collaborative Research Presented at HSE's April Conference
Members of the Sector of Public-Private Partership Research presented preliminary results of their latest collaborative research as part of HSE's April Conference. On 20.04.16, Sarah Busse Spencer gave the presentation on "Conditions for local territorial self-governance (TOS) in Russian Regions". Coauthors of the presentation are Olga Mayorova, Svetlana Suslova, Anastasia Bozhya-Volya and Ekaterina Schwartzaid. The presentation was given in the first panel of the three-day session entitled "Local Self-Governance and Civil Self-Organization", under the direction of Irina Mersianova.
The presentation combined separate theories of civil society and local self-governance for describing citizen participation in solving neighborhood problems. In Russia TOS are most comparable to "neighborhood associations" in other countries. This research by these coauthors represents the first ever study of TOS across all Russian regions. The presentation reported total counts of federally registered and estimates of locally registered TOS, and the distribution of these numbers by region, based on a range of secondary data (Ministry of Justice, ROSSTAT, etc). Several factors which might correlate with the number of TOS were also explored, and results suggest that they are not the same factors as those which correlate with other NGOs. Results were also presented from a telephone survey of potential collaboration partners across sectors of the economy, conducted in 2015.
Results indicated that government authorities always valued TOS higher than they were rated by other NGOs or business partners. In short, TOS are beginning to represent a distinct form of civil society organization in Russia, distinct from other NGOs, in some ways more similar to municipal administration offices.
These findings prompted heated debate during the session, and provided an ongoing source of discussion for the three days of the sessions in the track on civil society and nonprofit organizations.