The Department of Political Science and International Relations is a university department that offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs of study. The Department combines academic research with projects that provide tangible results for society at large. It has implemented a series of competitive research programs, one of which, the THALES program, pertains to the evaluation of Greek nongovernmental organizations. In 2013 and 2014, the Department acted as project coordinator for the research project titled THALES I. The main objectives of the project were: a. to study the organized Greek civil society sector, b. to examine/analyze different methods of nonprofit organizations evaluation used internationally and develop an all-inclusive approach, c. to evaluate Greek nonprofits according to different criteria and create an Index of NGO Credibility and d. to make a number of policy proposals. The project also facilitated better nonprofit management, increased transparency in the sector, and provided incentives for more efficient fundraising and better use of scarce resources. A total of 158 nonprofits were recorded and evaluated.
THALES II is a two-year project (TIMA’s grant in 2017 was for the first 12 months). Starting off, the project performed the mapping of the Greek civil society sector by recording nonprofit organizations that are currently active. This mapping included the many organizations that were founded over the last 4 years and also included more nonprofit legal entities compared to THALES I. The nonprofits were evaluated based on different criteria. During the first year, 750 organizations were mapped, and this information was placed on an online platform that was developed for the project.
The grant regards the continuation of the THALES II research project, building on the work that took place during the first year. During the second year of the project, the first evaluation of nonprofit organizations will be completed, and the next phase will commence during which the methodology will be developed that will also involve examining qualitative criteria of nonprofit organizations. Additionally, the online platform will be completed and in the future, nonprofits will be able to insert the necessary information independently and on a yearly basis.