Third Sector and Social Innovation in Local Communities in Portugal: Dilemmas Concerning Framing and Measurement of Social Impact

  • Cristina Pinto AlbuquerqueEmail author
  • Sara Rocha
Part of the Studies on Entrepreneurship, Structural Change and Industrial Dynamics book series (ESID)


The main goal of this chapter is to reflect about the role of the Third Sector (TS) in generating social innovation on a local scale basis. Social innovation will be putted in the forefront of the discussion, as well as the way to evaluate it in context. A particular focus is thus given to discussions about the dilemmas concerning which indicators and theoretical framework can be more appropriate to evaluate the impact of social innovations. This is a very central and actual exigency in the framework of public policies and social development but very few consensuses exist at this level. So, it is critical to identify the innovation presuppositions and indicators to consider, according to scale, scope and local specificities. This will help to make “good decisions” in a local level and to shape evidence-based social policies and social entrepreneurship initiatives, as well as the right framework conditions for social innovation.

The reflection and proposals under these topics are illustrated by the general results of a local project based in the assessment of social and ecological experimentation initiatives in Portugal.


Third sector Development Local communities Social innovation Evaluation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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