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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Irina Krasnopolskaya and Lucas Meijs

This paper explores the factors that are associated with a capacity of non-profits to develop social innovations (SIs). The purpose of this paper is to examine factors in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the factors that are associated with a capacity of non-profits to develop social innovations (SIs). The purpose of this paper is to examine factors in the Russian national context with weak non-profit sector with an ambiguous governmental policy toward the sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on survey data (n=850 NPOs, 2015, Russia). The paper analyses the likelihood of a non-profit to introduce SIs due to external framework and organizational factors. Regression analysis was applied in the study. The study is based on a new sampling approach and examines non-profits as producers of SIs, but not cases of SIs per se.

Findings

The results demonstrate that the capacity of an NPO to develop SIs is explained by the following enabling factors: cross-boundary collaborative relations, volunteer involvement and diversity of the revenue structure. Composition of innovative sub-sector, opportunities and chances of getting into this group are explicitly determined and regulated by the current governmental policy toward the sector. That is that large and established non-profits are more likely to be innovative in Russia, unlike expected grass-roots.

Originality/value

The paper applies a theoretical framework to analyze the SI concept in a non-western context with weak civil society and an influential government. From this perspective, the results present empirical quantitative verification of the determinants of SI capacity of NPOs. The paper is among the first to apply a reverse sampling principle and examine SIs via NPOs as producers. The paper produced, for the first time, an empirical description of the nature of innovative activity by NPOs and an estimation of the extent of this activity in Russia.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 39 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Evgeniya Georgievna Alekseeva, Irina Krasnopolskaya and Yulia Skokova

The purpose of this paper is to study the effectiveness of the international volunteer programme’s dance4life (D4L) in Russia. The programme aims to address taboos…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the effectiveness of the international volunteer programme’s dance4life (D4L) in Russia. The programme aims to address taboos, stigma, discrimination, HIV/AIDS prevention and the promotion of sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and a healthy lifestyle among adolescents. The programme uses an “edutainment” model that involves young people through music, dance and youth icons. Educated volunteers provide schoolchildren with comprehensive information on SRHR and demonstrate the practical application of life and leadership skills. The programme ends with a celebration event.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Only those who got as far as stage three of the process, 20 per cent of those who begun, were sampled. The qualitative research involved youth aged 13-19 (20 interviews, six focus groups), teachers (eight interviews), volunteer team members (eight interviews) and programme managers in four project regions and in Moscow (five interviews). In the quantitative research 105 respondents took part, of whom 48 per cent were 13-16 years old, 44 per cent were 17-19 years old and 8 per cent were 20-23 years old. Both boys and girls were included in the sample.

Findings

Young people’s participation in D4L had a significant positive impact on perceptions of SRHR and knowledge levels, changed some misconceptions about HIV/AIDS and helped develop social and healthy lifestyle skills. The programme contributed to the growth of voluntary activity and the organizational skills of participants. Teachers’ perceptions of SRHR changed positively after their participation in the programme.

Research limitations/implications

The fact that the sample is only those who completed all stages of the programme, 20 per cent of the overall population who began it, is clearly a source of bias. The size of the quantitative research sample (n=105) does not allow disaggregation of data by region nor by gender: this limitation was minimized by choosing four regions with relatively comparable socio-economic status, and through quota sampling in equal proportions for boys and girls. This is the first time such a study has been conducted, so it is not possible to draw conclusions about the long-term impact of the programme.

Practical implications

The short implementation period allows for the dissemination of information and training to large numbers despite limited funding.

Social implications

The D4L approach provides information on SRHR to youth, which arouses their interest, and is perceived as relevant and important. Programme participants use this information themselves and share it with their friends, parents and other adults.

Originality/value

The D4L programme is unique in Russia: there is no regular sexual education in Russian schools. School programmes are rarely evaluated with the methods used in this study.

Details

Health Education, vol. 115 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

Keywords

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