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Volunteerism and Well-Being: An extract from the 2011 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report

20 March 2013

Today, 20 March, is the first International Day of Happiness. It is a day for us all to recognize the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and the importance of including them in public policy objectives.  

New measures of global progress and sustainable development, which go beyond Gross National Product-driven measures, are needed. This includes well-being, volunteering, and civic participation. The Bhutan-led International Expert Working Group (IEWG) is drafting a new global development paradigm to promote well-being and happiness as the universal goal and purpose.  The work is inspired by Gross National Happiness studies, which include volunteerism as an indicator.

When people volunteer they utilize their knowledge, skills and social networks, which enable them to enhance the physical, economic, spiritual and social well-being of themselves, their families and their communities. To find out more about how volunteering promotes happiness and well-being, and contributes to peace and development worldwide, read Volunteerism and Well-Being: An extract from the 2011 State of the World's Volunteerism Report.


UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)