The third sector in global perspectives

Lester M. Salamon

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

1 Scopus citations


Well before many of us understood what the nonprofit sector was or what it could contribute to social and economic development, the IAF was on the ground in Latin America, fostering linkages and building grassroots networks that now provide for the kinds of partnerships that are the focus of this conference. This was pioneering work, done beyond the glare of publicity and often without a lot of appreciation, but it planted seeds we are now harvesting. My task is to put this work into perspective by exploring the terrain that IAF helped to uncover. It is one of the least visible, most obscure areas of human settlement-a place far less explored than the upper reaches of the Amazon. I am speaking about that vast collection of institutions and relationships that lies between the market and the state, and for which we too have many names: Third Sector, nonprofit sector, civil society sector, voluntary sector, social economy sector, NGO sector, charitable sector and many others. This is a complex, diverse set of entities embracing elite universities and small day care centers, soup kitchens and cultural institutions, human rights agencies and associations of professionals, labor unions, women's groups, and more.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages9
Specialist publicationGrassroots Development
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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