The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and volunteer involving organizations know that volunteerism contributes to peace and development around the world, but how do we demonstrate this? A new handbook, Assessing the Contribution of Volunteering to Development is designed to help development practitioners get the evidence they need.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and volunteer involving organizations know that volunteerism contributes to peace and development around the world, but how do we demonstrate this? A new handbook, Assessing the Contribution of Volunteering to Development is designed to help development practitioners get the evidence they need. The handbooks fundamental principle is that assessing the contribution of volunteers requires a bottom-up approach.
The book includes a set of tools for use in participatory workshops involving many different stakeholders at different levels. This participatory methodology supports volunteer involving organizations in obtaining the answers to six basic questions:
1. What contribution does volunteering make to development and what are the key results?
2. How does volunteering achieve these results?
3. What factors help or hinder the volunteering contribution?
4. What is the added value of volunteering?
5. How is volunteering perceived by other stakeholders and partner organizations, both national and international?
6. What lessons can be learned from volunteering and how can they be used to enhance development planning?
The handbook provides volunteering practitioners with practical tools for using the answers to inform their work and decisions. The book is the result of a joint effort between UNV and the International FORUM on Development Service, a network of organizations engaged in international volunteering and personnel exchange. The methodology was piloted in twelve countries in 2006. Representatives from a range of national and international volunteering organizations took part along with a broad range of stakeholders including beneficiaries, partner organizations, governments, and employees of international agencies. The participatory assessment methodology that evolved over the course of those pilots forms the basis of this handbook. It is complemented by the experience gained and additional tools UNV developed during Volunteerism for Development Results workshops held in 2008. "[I] hope that many UN Volunteers and volunteer involving organizations around the world will use this handbook, be inspired by it, and adapt the methods and tools to the needs of their own organizations and environment," UNV Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri stated. "Ultimately, we hope that the handbook will help to showcase the contribution volunteering makes to development."
Read the new handbook Assessing the Contribution of Volunteering to Development