The case of Opole Province in Poland
Annex 2 A detailed description of the particular governance quality indexes
The institutional power of associations is a measure used frequently in research on social participation. This index caused the fewest doubts. According to Robert Putnam “civic associations contribute to the effectiveness and stability of a democratic government (…) because of their both «external» impact on particular members and «external» impact on wider social groups. (…) A dense network of secondary associations both embodies effective social cooperation and contributes to it” (Putnam 1995: 137–138). Nevertheless, gathering reliable data turned out to be rather problematic. The National Court Register is the basic register of foundations and associations. But it is a “register of birth” of such organizations rather than a reliable tool that can be used to verify the number of factually functioning entities. Collecting data, we compared the data obtained from the National Court Register with data coming from other sources such as communal or district registers of non-governmental organizations, internet databases, and information provided by the representatives of the particular communes. District registers are maintained within the scope of administrative supervision of the heads of district offices over organizations. Communal registers are not maintained obligatorily, however, they are sometimes placed on commune offices’ websites within the scope of the duties of a communal representative for non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, a database of non-governmental organizations functioning in the Opolskie province has been established recently. It is available at the following address: ngo.opolskie.pl. The last source of data was requests for the provision of public information, i.e. the number of factually functioning entities, sent...
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