Global conference presents UNV-backed manual for measuring economic value of volunteering
The Global Volunteering Conference in Budapest drew delegates from 80 countries. Philip Sen/UNV, 2011
22 September 2011 Budapest, Hungary:
The high-level Global Volunteering Conference under the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers brought together volunteering leaders from across the world.
A related UN resolution about the anniversary Year called on governments to improve their measurement of volunteer work, and delegates in Budapest learned about how that can be done.
During the sessions, participants were introduced to The Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in cooperation with the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Center for Civil Society Studies, supported by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme.
Previous estimates by the Johns Hopkins Center showed that, even conservatively estimated, the value of volunteering across just 37 countries amounted to at least $400 billion. However, the lack of comparable data on global volunteering has left it under-valued and its full potential unrealized.
The Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work, which was unveiled online in March this year, aims to help statisticians and economists measure the value of volunteer work at the national, regional and global levels by tracking the amount, type and value of volunteer work in their countries. Available now in print, the manual provides the first internationally sanctioned guidance for generating reliable, official data on volunteer work using a common definition and approach.
“This long-awaited manual will really boost the visibility of volunteer work,” said UNV Executive Coordinator, Flavia Pansieri. “By providing an agreed methodology for measuring the significance of volunteering, it will help governments create better volunteering policy and legislation. In turn, that will help volunteers at the grassroots do what they do best, which is making an impact on sustainable development, the Millennium Development Goals, peace-building and humanitarian assistance.”
Co-hosted by UNV and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) the Global Volunteering Conference gathered leaders from governments, NGOs, UN agencies and other international organizations to discuss ‘Volunteering for a Sustainable Future’.
The Conference closed on 17 September with a declaration on volunteering which its authors hope may inspire future United Nations General Assembly decisions.
Find The Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work online at: