FSD1196 Finnish Local Government 2004: Non-Governmental Organisations 1996

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  • Ståhlberg, Krister (Åbo Akademi University. Department of Public Administration)
  • Helander, Voitto (Åbo Akademi University. Department of Public Administration)
  • Pikkala, Sari (Åbo Akademi University. Department of Public Administration)


associations, decision making, local government, local government services, membership, municipal elections, municipalities, organizational democracy, participation, political influence, private voluntary organizations, social economy, third sector, voluntary work


The respondents of the survey were representatives of associations and other local non-governmental organisations in target municipalities. The aim of the survey was to study political participation and local interest groups. Most questions pertained to the activities and characteristics of associations and organisations, but the respondents' opinions were probed on certain issues. First questions covered the basic facts: was the organisation registered, its range of activities and geological area of operations. Some questions focused on the organisation's resources: membership structure, number of individual members, their gender, age and education, characteristics of community members, changes in member numbers, number of employees and the division of work between employed personnel and voluntary activists.

The organisation's internal and external interaction was studied. Questions covered how the organisation informed members of its activities, did it probe members' opinions or try to increase the degree of membership activity and the number of meetings held. Respondents were asked whether the organisation's elected or employed officials had municipal elective offices or municipal posts, or held elective offices within the organisation on a district or national level. The organisation's collaboration with other associations, non-governmental organisations and parties were also charted. The organisation finances were investigated with questions about expenditure and sources of income and whether the organisation owned/administered foundations or real estate. A number of questions pertained to the relations between the organisation and the municipality: methods used to influence municipal decision-making, the organisation's collaboration and interaction with municipal bodies and co-operation with other organisations to influence decision-making. Respondents were asked whether the organisation had supported any candidates in the 1996 municipal election campaign and in what way. The organisation's own service production was investigated. Respondents were asked how successful various organisations were in influencing the decision-making in the respondent's municipality.

Finally, respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with statements relating to the relations between non-governmental organisations and authorities/municipalities/the state. Other statements pertained to what factors prevent organisations from reaching their aims, fund-raising, taxation, democracy, service production and the future.

Background variables included the respondent's status in the organisation, sex, year of birth and the number of organisations in which he/she held an elective office.

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