The present report outlines what we know about leadership development across Europe. It tests the hypothesis at the heart of our project that there is space for a leadership framework for the third sector. It takes the form of a report of the results of a survey of sector experts across Europe – broadly focusing on challenges and opportunities for third sector leaders, leadership development, and the existence of frameworks and qualifications.
In spite of the common challenges faced by the third sector across much of Europe, there is little evidence of common attempts to develop leadership. Even at national level in most EU Member States, frameworks for leadership and training for leadership development appear to be sporadic. They are developed by individual training providers, whether universities, training companies or third sector umbrella bodies. We are not in a position to make a value judgment on whether such diversity is good or bad for leadership development.
Across the European countries that responded to the survey, there appears to be a mixed picture on the different stages of development on third sector leadership programmes and training, varying by European regions and some key developments in specific countries. Some European countries have excelled in developing leadership programmes targeted at third sector leaders. For example in the Central European countries (Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic) all appear to have developed sophisticated and accessible courses targeted at third sector leaders. Other countries with noticeable development in leadership programmes targeted at third sector leaders are the United Kingdom and Sweden.