Measuring volunteer work at the 20th International Conference of Labour Statisticians

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme will participate in the 20th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) from 10 -19 October 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. In this occasion, UNV, together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) will lead an official session and a side-event focused on the value and opportunities for integrating measurement of volunteer work as a means of implementation into SDG-related processes.

Statistical data on volunteerism area has become increasingly available since the 19th ICLS in 2013, which recognized volunteer work as a form of work and established its international statistical definition.

In 2017, ILO's Statistics Department conducted a global review of national practices in measuring volunteer work, between 2007 and 2017. The review was conducted under the framework of the ILO-UNV partnership established to promote and facilitate the regular measurement of volunteer work by the National Statistical Offices (NSOs).

The report revealed that many countries have developed survey tools to produce official estimates of volunteer work, largely implemented through Labor Force Surveys. Labour statisticians, contributed significantly to this evolution and should put efforts to make this contribution sustainable through improvement of statistical tools and regular measurements at national, regional and international levels. However, more work needs to be done to further improve measurement tools and national capacities to better measure and integrate volunteer work as a means of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. 

In this light, UNV, together with ILO will lead the sessions on:

  • Report I on Volunteer Work: National practices in measuring volunteer work: A critical review
    12 October 2018, 9:30 - 12:30, Plenary, GB Room, R3

    This report aims to: offer an overview of the global evolution of the measurement of volunteer work from 2007 through 2017;  review the approaches used by countries to measure volunteer work, identify possible good practices and issues that need to be further tested; identify good practices and ways of improving the efficiency of the measurement tools, based on current accumulated knowledge; and outline the next practical steps by ILO to promote progress towards the regular measurement of volunteer work as part of official statistics, in line with the international standards.
  • Side event on Utilizing national statistics on voluntary work strengthen SDGs policy analysis and reporting
    12 October 2018, tbc

    This session explores how such data on volunteer work can strengthen country reporting on the SDGs, as well as to help shift VNRs from description to providing policy analysis and insights particularly around issues of skills, human capital and work for development. It will also provide information on how national statistical agencies can participate in the Plan of Action to Integrate Volunteering in the 2030 Agenda, a process under GA/70/129 to support member states.  Specifically, under the objective to scale up and share experiences on measurement of volunteer work, sharing lessons at regional level (2019) and through a global technical meeting (2020).


Geneva, Switzerland