Policy Challenge on volunteering for resilience takes place in Guatemala

Drawing on original research in 15 communities across the globe, the 2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) presents new evidence on the role of volunteerism in strengthening community resilience.  Based on the report's emerging findings,  the project is organizing Policy Challenges to bring in different groups of people to make policy suggestions, some of which may be incorporated into the final report.


The first Policy Challenge in Guatemala City was carried out on November 27 to address priority action and universal support systems for volunteering. Ten people participated in the event, including  students from San Carlos University, lawyers working independently and at governmental agencies and representatives from civil society organizations. The group discussed and presented their recommendations on what priorities national and municipal governments, UN agencies and volunteers should focus on to support volunteering. They have also highlighted the need to address issues such as long-term volunteerism, volunteering towards risk prevention, inclusive volunteering, digital volunteering, making volunteers’ voices heard, and measuring the impact of volunteerism.


The second Policy Challenge event in Guatemala was carried out on November 30 at the Ecological Park Quetzali, San Pedro of Sacatepéquez. Ten people participated in the event, including women indigenous leaders from different municipalities as well as members from the Maya Mam Council which represents the Mam People in the National Maya Council. The participants were asked about the priorities for different target groups (national and municipal governments, civil society, etc) to enable volunteerism. Participants shared their ideas within small groups and then started a discussion to listen to the proposals/recommendations from each participant.They also addressed the issue how volunteerism can help communities become more resilient. “We need to strengthen community volunteering through the collective participation of women and men to achieve the common good, ” said one participant. 


Hosting a SWVR 2018 Policy Challenges is an opportunity to review findings from the SWVR field research and present solutions that could be taken up by UN Member States (national and/or local government level), civil society, and UN agencies and programmes as part of resilience-building efforts. We are looking for diverse groups to discuss the emerging findings from the field research and to tell us how they would respond. We would particularly like to encourage inputs from all groups that are under-represented in decision-making processes relating to risk reduction and resilience. For more information, visit www.unv.org/swvr/swvr-policy-challenge