On the 4th of September, United Nation Volunteers (UNV) programme and the Human Development Report Office (HDRO) will organize a joint expert seminar on volunteering and inequality in New York. This meeting will bring together experts in inequality and volunteering to discuss evidence and strategies for ensuring volunteer efforts are recognised as some of the most impactful in tackling inequalities affecting human development today.
There are one billion people who are estimated to actively volunteer worldwide. The 2015 Human Development Report (HDR) highlights that, volunteering creates social value and fosters innovation where markets and organizations were unable to make a direct contributions to peace and development in areas such as education, health, water and sanitation.
Leading up to the launch of the 2019 Human Development Report, the expert seminar on volunteering and inequality will facilitate a discussion on conceptual linkages between volunteering and inequalities in development thinking to date, empirical evidence from human development reports, State of the Worlds Voluteerism reports and other evidence. The meeting will explore key relationships, drivers and entry points for effecting change by governments, volunteer institutions and others - while also be a platform to discuss the implications for the measurement of volunteer work and its contribution to human development.
Speakers at the event include Olivier Adam, Executive Coordinator, UNV, Emma Morley, Chief of Volunteer Advisory Services Section, UNV, Pedro Conceição, Director, Human Development Report Office, United Nations Development Programme.
A panel discussion will follow the key speakers. The panelists are Cielo Morales, Director Latin American and the Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning, Ambar Narayan, Lead Economist – Poverty and Equity, World Bank, Liana Ghukasyan, Senior Humanitarian Delegate, International Federation of the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Laura Addati, Gender and Work Policy Adviser, ILO.
The event will also include a special contribution from Michèle Lamont, Professor of Sociology and African and African American Studies, Robert. I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and Director of Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and currently visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. Professor Lamont will focus her talk on fostering social inclusion in unequal societies.
The outcomes of the discussion will be fed into the global synthesis report which will be presented at the global technical meeting on volunteerism that will be held at the High-Level Political Forum on the SDGs in New York, July 2020.