Around the world, extreme weather events linked to climate change – including the catastrophic flooding in South Asia, Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean, and mudslides in Sierra Leone – have pushed volunteers to the forefront of disaster response efforts.
Volunteering is difficult to define and measure in a way that is comparable across borders or cultures. When volunteering has been measured, the focus has largely been on organization-based volunteering, rather than volunteering performed spontaneously and directly between people. Many stakeholders fail to recognize the importance of measuring volunteering, especially irregular volunteering, mainly due to the cost and the difficulties of getting a representative sample.
The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2018: The Thread that Binds draws on original research across five continents to understand how communities view volunteering. The report aims to help governments and development partners maximize the contribution of volunteerism as a property of resilient communities.
Focus groups and policy discussions for the report were organized in Bolivia, Burundi, China, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Madagascar, Malawi, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Tanzania.
In conditions where policies and legislation successfully create a nurturing and enabling environment for volunteering, people are endowed with stronger protections and incentives to engage in voluntary action. When carefully designed and implemented, volunteer schemes can empower people to participate in their own communities to meet development objectives.
Earlier this year, we launched our social integration strategy. Based on considerable research, it sets out a new definition of social integration – emphasizing that it is about more than simply the degree of contact between people but also includes promoting equality and improving people’s levels of activity and participation in their local communities.
But encouraging social integration is a meaningless exercise unless people are provided with opportunities to come together. Volunteering does just that.
Xinzhuang is in Changping District of Beijing. Located at the foot of the Yanshan Mountains, this area has about 2,000 residents, 60% of whom are non-locals. The “newcomers” settle here to take their children to a local school. The rest of the population are mostly farmers, as the village is one of the main suppliers of strawberries to Beijing. Xinzhuang village is a typical rural community with basic public services for waste and sanitation. But things changed after an incident in the village.
The side event will provide guidance on how Member States can work to strengthen their analysis and reporting under SDG17 through the integration of national data on volunteerism. In particular to:
POLICY CHALLENGE WITH CIVIL SOCIETY IN UKRAINE
The Segment will address the theme, “Innovative communities: leveraging technology and innovation to build sustainable and resilient societies”
The annual ECOSOC Integration Segment has been mandated to promote the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development, both within and beyond the United Nations system.
The 2018 Integration Segment seeks to analyze pathways to build resilience through integrated policies, and will: