Dimensions of the nonprofit sector in Pakistan

Type Working Paper - Social Policy and Development center
Title Dimensions of the nonprofit sector in Pakistan
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2002
URL http://www.spdc.org.pk/Data/Publication/PDF/WP1.pdf
Political theorists sometimes divide society into three components: the state, private
enterprise and civil society. This tripartite division is embodied by ‘the prince’, ‘the
merchant’, and ‘the citizen’. The prince symbolizes governmental power; the
merchant represents economic power; and the citizen embodies the power of the
peoples. Civil society can also be identified as the public space between individual
citizens and the state, in which their activities occur collectively and in an organized
form (Stewart, 1997).
Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs) are an important part of civil society and are distinct
from both the state and private enterprises. Their unique position outside the market
and the state, comparatively smaller scale, connection with citizens, their flexibility
and capacity to tap private initiative in support of public purpose have positioned
NPOs as strategically important participants in the search of a ‘middle way’ between
sole reliance on the market and the state. (Salamon, 1999)
NPOs have mushroomed across the world in recent years, in large due part to
widespread “crises of the state” that have been underway for two decades in virtually
every region of the world. Despite their growth in number and size, NPOs remain
dimly understood. A gross lack of basic information about NPOs makes it difficult to
determine what their role and capabilities really are and to highlight the difficulties
they face in scaling up.
The need was felt, therefore, to accelerate the maturation of the nonprofit sector by
providing accurate information and analysis about its dimensions. The Johns
Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector (CNP) Project1
facilitates to make the sector
visible to most policymakers, business leaders, the media, and even to many people
within the sector itself. More specifically, the CNP Project seeks to deepen our
knowledge of the NPS in a variety of ways:
• By describing the sector more precisely than what has yet been done to
document its size, structure, revenues, and composition;
• By explaining why the sector takes the form it does and what factors seem to
encourage or to retard its development;
• By evaluating the impact of the organizations within this sector, and their
• By publicizing the resulting information so that public awareness of the sector can
be improved; and
• By indigenizing the capacity to carry on this work in the future.This paper attempts to fulfill one of the prime objectives of the CNP, in the context of
Pakistan, by documenting the size, structure, expenditure, revenue and the sectoral
composition. The next section provides an operational definition of the nonprofit
sector (NPS). The sector in the legal context is explained in section II. The data
collection strategy, survey locations and estimation procedure are described in
section III. Principal findings are furnished in section IV. The contextual picture of the
nonprofit sector is exhibited in section V, while Section VI presents the concluding

Related studies