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    Towards a comparable and harmonised set of performance indicators for Third Sector organisations: the Italian experience

    Andreoni, V and Righi, A (2014) Towards a comparable and harmonised set of performance indicators for Third Sector organisations: the Italian experience. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 63 (6). pp. 766-778. ISSN 1741-0401


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    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to intend as a contribution to the performance evaluation of Third Sector organisations (TSOs). The Italian experience on the development and adoption of harmonised indicators is considered here as an example of problems and possible solutions. Design/methodology/approach – Preliminary analysis shows that, in the Italian situation, two main gaps exist. The first one relates to the incomplete statistical information on the magnitude and performance of TSOs; the second is related to the lack of a set of harmonised indicators. To address these problems, two initiatives have been recently set up in Italy. On the one hand, the newly presented “National Strategy on Social Corporate Responsibility – 2012-2014” has been oriented to fill the statistical gap, by extending the compilation of socio-economic and environmental accounts to TSOs; on the other hand, a joint initiative of the Italian Statistical Institute and the CSR Manager Network Italia towards the harmonisation of the “Global Reporting Initiatives-quantitative performance indicators” and the standards of the Italian statistical system. Within the second initiative, a specific sub-set of performance indicators for TSOs is proposed and presented in this paper. Findings – The Italian experiences reported here, together with the set of proposed indicators, can be used to improve data collection and to move towards a common framework for performance evaluation in the TSOs. Originality/value – The main contribution of the proposed set of indicators is to: first, provide standard definitions and clear calculation methods; second, define quantitative measurements allowing for aggregation; and third, promote data collection and performance evaluation in a context, as the Italian one, where statistical information for TSOs is largely incomplete.

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