GTM2020 closes with a clarion call to supercharge ideas to solutions for volunteering in the Decade of Action

Volunteering is a game-changer in this Decade of Action - if well supported and integrated into wider development efforts.

Millions of volunteers are a formidable force for transformation and acceleration of the 2030 Agenda. --Olivier Adam, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme

The Global Techical Meeting on Reimagining Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda convened online from 13-16 July 2020. The meeting's main outcome document, A Call-to-Action on Volunteering in the Decade of Action, calls for the alignment of volunteer efforts with the 2030 Agenda and for deepening the engagement and common solidarity of the global volunteering community to help deliver the SDGs.

A Global Synthesis Report finds that volunteering is still not deeply embedded into wider efforts to advance the 2030 Agenda. It also highlights the gaps in the measurement of volunteer work and in the data and evidence on volunteerism, particularly from the global South.

Furthermore, the diversity of volunteer action needs to be recognized. The paper Volunteering practices in the 21st Century released this week highlights that volunteer action comes in many forms and dimensions from online to onsite, local to global, and ranges from mutual aid, service delivery, campaigning, participation, and leisure. The volunteers themselves also add to this enormous diversity -- they come from different social, cultural and economic backgrounds, age groups, genders, and from across all geographical regions.

The Call-to-Action thus encourages governments, United Nations entities, volunteer-involving organizations, academia, private sector and civil society to recognize this diversity and jointly create new models to shape people action as a transformative resource for the SDGs.

A toolkit on Acceleration Matrix: Volunteering for the SDGs,  Policy Blueprints: An Enabling Environment for Volunteering and the Measuring Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda: Toolbox of Principles, Tools and Practices launched this week aim to support policymakers to realize this vision. All these resources can be accessed in UNV’s newly launched knowledge portal.

Finally, the Call-to-Action outlines seven key areas that require urgent action:

  1. Scale up access to volunteering and volunteering opportunities across the SDGs
  2. Ensure that volunteering is well supported beyond formal, organization-based opportunities
  3. Address inequalities and risks in volunteering
  4. Strengthen structures for people’s ownership of development processes through volunteering
  5. Create new models for voluntary action to supercharge ideas to solutions
  6. Measure the impact on well-being of volunteers and the 2030 Agenda
  7. Strengthen the alignment of volunteer efforts with SDG gaps and challenges

The four-day meeting was encapsulated in three words by Toily Kurbanov, UNV’s Deputy Executive Coordinator.

Reflection of the diversity of volunteering practices. Recognition of volunteering efforts through solid evidence and policy coherence. Regionalization to include diverse perspectives and regional and local contexts. --Toily Kurbanov, Deputy Executive Coordinator, UNV


GTM2020 on the web and social media 

Read the Daily Digest from the day before.

Day 1: Reimagining Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda

Day 2: Global Volunteering Snapshot

Day 3: Next-generation Volunteering Support

Regional break-out sessions

Day 4: Call-to-Action

See the social media wall here:

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