Workshop 1: How can we use data to better understand the scale and scope of the Scottish third sector?

Professor Lester Salamon (Johns Hopkins University) and Chris Yiu (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations) were the keynote speakers at a workshop bringing together academics, policy makers and third sector practitioners in tackling the challenges of measuring third sector activity.


There have been many attempts to quantify the Scottish third sector. This free workshop explored the available data sources, what they can tell us about the third sector, and debate the challenges in classifying, defining and measuring third sector activity. The workshop also tackled using third sector data for evaluation and the measurement of impact by third sector organisations. 

| Download the workshop summary here InsightWorkshop1_UsingDatatoBetterUnderstand |

Professor Lester Salamon


Professor Lester Salamon from Johns Hopkins University will talk about his extensive work in measuring the scope and scale of the third sector cross-nationally and how that work has significantly transformed global understanding of the role and operation of the third sector and challenged a number of long-held myths about this sector and its place in a wide variety of societies. His talk will thus provide an excellent illustration of why better data on the third sector is so crucial.

Chris Yiu


Chris Yiu is the Director of Digital Participation at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) will explore how SCVO uses different data sources, how they work with other organisations to understand the state of the sector, and what they are doing to open up more data about the sector for other people to explore and reuse.

The workshop presentations can be downloaded here.