FINALLY, the much-awaited UN Volunteers flagship report 2018 State of the World Volunteerism Report (SWVR) with the theme Building Community Resilience in a Turbulent World which “sets out the value of volunteerism in relation to other types of resilience interventions” will be launched during the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on the Sustainable Development Goals on 9 to 18 July 2018 in New York City. The year-long journey to the launch has been tremendously challenging considering the scale of work in putting everything together – largely done by volunteers no less – but ultimately rewarding for all involved.
Focus of the research were on these key questions: 1) in what ways do the distinctive characteristics of volunteerism help or hinder resilience?, and 2) what wider structures, policies, and norms affect volunteerism for community resilience? Field research was done simultaneously in 15 countries including the Philippines in 2017.
Development of the research conceptual framework, training of the international team of volunteers, and writing of the world report was commissioned to the research lead/consultant Benjamin Lough of the University of Illinois. Country researches were done by international and national volunteer-researchers in coordination with national UNV partner-organizations, and guided by international mentors, also volunteers, who served as link between the researcher-volunteers and the UNV team in Bonn.
On completion of the field research and country reports, a series of voluntary discussions were organized worldwide to obtain wider policy recommendations based on emerging findings culled from the country researches. Strategic “soft launches” such as at UN Climate Conference (COP 23) were also done.
It is the objective of SWVR 2018 that in the HLPF, member States, will have greater insight into the role and impact of volunteers and volunteerism and thus adopt the necessary policy measures to encourage and sustain volunteerism and support volunteers for resilience building.
Followers and readers of this blog are enjoined to visit the SWVR dedicated webpage on the UNV site here and here for more background information on the research process and related resources. On Twitter, follow @EvidenceUNV for updates. On Facebook, UNV will facilitate during the launch a live conversation between volunteers, member states and development partners on how best to collaborate with communities to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030. Audiences are invited to send polling questions, live comments and tweets using #SWVR18.