Did the Digital Competences of Russian NGOs Change under Pandemic Conditions?
Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Head of the Department for NGO Economy and Management, the Social Science Faculty, Director, Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector HSE University “Higher School of Economics”, Moscow, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org
Cand. Sci. (Philol.), Senior Research Fellow, Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector HSE University “Higher School of Economics”, Moscow, Russia email@example.com
Research Intern, Research Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Studies, Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector, HSE University “Higher School of Economics”, Moscow, Russia. firstname.lastname@example.org
This work was supported by the Program for Basic Research of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.
The paper presents the results of the calculations of Russia’s first Index of NGO Basic Digital Competencies based on international experience and the data of two All-Russia NGO Surveys before the pandemic (2019) and a year following the pandemic outbteak (2021). The data highlight a critical underuse of digital technologies by Russian NGOS. An average index value is about 2 on a 10-point scale. Comparison of typological groups in 2019 and 2020 shows some positive shifts: a total share of “digital leaders” and “advanced” NGOs increased while the number of “digital outsiders” almost did not change. Surprisingly, the variable “digital fundraising” showed the lowest score, which may be explained from the resource dependence perspective. A conclusion is made that digitalization mostly affected NGOs that have already implemented digital technologies and during the pandemic turned to applying new digital tools, whereas the NGOs that did not apply digital technologies earlier were not motivated to introduce them. This indicates a kind of polarization in the NGO sector between the typological groups of “digital leaders” and “digital outsiders” which was manifested during the pandemic. The index potential as a tool of both evaluation and diagnostics of reserves has been shown. The latter links the progress in NGO digital competences with the implementation of the strategic approach and the use of marketing technologies.