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After the conference held at Villa Vigoni in April of 2015, it was decided to publish 2 volumes of documents: Volume 1 contains the minutes of the sessions of the conference. In this 2nd volume, we present some additional material assembled before and after the conference, including a report on the preparatory workshop held at Villa Vigoni in 2013. In order to provide readers who are not in possession of Volume 1 with the necessary background, the foreword to Volume 1 is included almost verbatim here.
Civil Society in the 'Visegrad Four': Data and Literature in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and SlovakiaJuly 1, 2014
The first of three publications on the '25 Years After -- Mapping Civil Society in the Visegrád Four' project contains an overview of existing data and literature in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. It looks at where and what kind of research on civil society has been and is being done, who is doing it and where the gaps are.To be consistent and comparable, the four country reports include the same core sections: relevant publications on civil society in the respective country; existing databases and other data sources; active centres of research, training, and policy studies. More than providing just a list, this report looks at how they can be evaluated in terms of scope, accurateness and depth. Finally, it considers the question of what the most crucial gaps in research and funding in the countries are.An academic volume is slated for the end of 2014. For other publications in English and German, see www.maecenata.eu.
The present study aims to determine the potential community foundations in Germany have for community development. Therefore six randomly chosen small-size community foundations were interviewed regarding their financial settings, level of professionalization and their commitment towards community development. By using qualitative content analysis this article assesses the relevance of reaching their defined goals in contrast to the need of satisfying the demand of current and potential donors. The results indicate that small foundations initially depend highly on the involvement of voluntary board members and on the independence of political authorities. Furthermore, the results show that a process of professionalization is necessary already in the first years of existence.
Awqaf is an important economic sector. Its importance is gleaned from the massive assets it controls, its substantial social expenditure, the large number of people it employs, and its significant contribution to the economy which adds between 10 to 14 per cent to the GDP of some countries.1 With such a significant economic output, and growth in the number, size and diversity of organisations entrusted with awqaf properties, awqaf as a faith-based charitable institution has generated interest beyond philanthropists and Shariah scholars, and the sector is no longer seen as exclusively religious. With a broader business focus, it became clear that the sector is in fact an industry and is being subjected to increased scrutiny by governments and regulatory authorities.The size of the sector and its growing economic importance qualify it for serious attention by legislators and standards setters of the Islamic financial industry. In order to rejuvenate the institution of waqf and reverse the trend of neglect and to enhance its role in social and economic development, a number of issues must be addressed: How should the regulatory framework operate? Would the regulations help or hinder the development of awqaf and the creation of new waqfs? Is uniformity needed? And how will this help? What is an ideal model for corporate governance? Is that model workable within the parameters imposed by other features of the business and political environment? What about sustainability and profitability and shouldn't awqaf be profitable in order to be sustainable? Do we see a conflict between awqaf as a not-for profit sector and the pursuit of growth and profitability? Is it acceptable to combine awqaf and business? Is this ethical, and how would it affect stakeholders? The awqaf sector and its management often remain not well understood. While a full answer to these questions is beyond the scope of this paper, there are a number of issues that appear important for our concern. The paper will focus on issues that are relevant for the integration of awqaf into the mainstream of the Islamic financial industry. It will also address matters that are of concern to regulatory authorities, awqaf foundations and to all awqaf stakeholders. For other publications in English and German, see www.maecenata.eu.
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