Discussion Group 2

Integrating volunteering into policy and planning

November 17-December 15 Moderated by Katrina Borromeo, Tom Bannister

About the discussion group

In this discussion, we want to hear your examples and experiences of volunteering being effectively integrated into policies and planning.

(Add your responses by clicking on the tab 'Discussions")

Background 

People everywhere are contributing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and targets through volunteering. But research by UNV and partners suggests that national and local policies, strategies, and schemes that support volunteers often stand separate from wider development efforts.

Sub-questions 

  1. How have public policies or strategies in your country integrated volunteering into wider efforts to achieve the SDGs? 
  2. What evidence shows whether this integration has added value?
  3. What have you or your partners done to successfully influence policymakers to integrate volunteering?

In your responses, you could include examples of:

  • Sector policies or national strategies that include volunteering components, for example, a climate change strategy that works with volunteers to collect environmental data or to raise awareness in their communities.
  • National or local volunteering strategies that are aligned to SDG gaps and challenges, for example, a national or local government volunteer strategy, programme or scheme that is focused on a major development priority such as disaster preparedness.
  • National volunteering schemes that embed volunteers into projects and partnerships and measure the efforts of volunteers against national SDG targets;
  • Evaluations or research that show how the inclusion of volunteering in a policy or plan has added value, for example by demonstrating that ordinary people’s needs and priorities were listened to and acted upon;
  • Partnerships or processes that have resulted in greater integration of volunteering, for example, public consultations on a new policy or strategy that have given volunteering groups the opportunity to successfully advocate for the inclusion of volunteers;
  • Types of data or evidence that have demonstrated the value of volunteering for the SDGs to policymakers, such as qualitative research that highlights how volunteering can help accelerate progress against a particular SDG target. 

Why take part?

The insights generated from these discussions may be used in the 2021 Report of the Secretary-General on Volunteering, and as a resource for approaches to realize the Call to Action – to make volunteering a transformative force for the 2030 Agenda.

Further reading

Join related discussions

Click here to join the parallel discussion on Catalyzing the Call-to-Action through innovative models and big ideas

Profile picture for user Tom Bannister
Tom Bannister
17.11.2020
Hello everyone and a very warm welcome to this online consultation on integrating volunteering, which will be facilitated by Katrina Borromeo, Programme Specialist at the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV), and myself, Tom Bannister, Policy Specialist, also at UNV.

If you check out the ‘about’ section above, you can see that we are looking at the following three questions:
1.How have public policies or strategies in your country integrated volunteering into wider efforts to achieve the SDGs?
2.What evidence shows whether this integration has added value?
3.What have you or your partners done to successfully influence policymakers to integrate volunteering?

We have around 4 weeks to address these questions which should give us plenty of time to also look at new questions and themes as they emerge.

So now over to you! what are your examples and experiences of volunteering being effectively integrated into policies and planning where you are?

Few things to note:
- If you are reading this but you haven’t signed up for a user account yet, please do so – you need one to be able to leave a comment (see ‘how to join’).
- If you do make a comment, please do say a few words about yourself (position, affiliation etc)
- Feel free to respond to other people's comments and ask questions yourself. We will try to make this as much of a two-way conversation as possible.
- In case anyone wants to share information relevant to the discussion, but is not comfortable posting in this forum, you can reach me by email at thomas.bannister[at]unv.org.

I look forward to the discussion!

Tom

------------------------UPDATE-------------------------------------
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In reply to by Tom Bannister

Katrina Borromeo
23.11.2020
Thank you so much Tom for the introduction!

I am very excited to co-moderate this discussion and hear your thoughts on integrating volunteering into policies and practices.

If you look at the data we have on this portal - http://knowledge.unv.org/laws-policies-scheme, more than 80 countries now have laws on volunteering while approximately 60 have policies on volunteering.

While this number is encouraging, these are mostly standalone laws and policies. There are still very few examples of countries integrating volunteering into wider development policies and efforts.

What do we mean by policy integration? There are quite a few approaches to this ranging from aligning volunteering efforts to national priorities to coordinating across government agencies to integrating volunteering in sectoral public policy design and implementation, for example, in Malta, the national strategy on ageing for 2014–2020 aims to foster volunteering among older people through national programmes and an online platform (http://knowledge.unv.org/country/malta)

Do you have other examples on how countries have integrated volunteering into policies and practices? What do you think are the lessons learned and some opportunities and challenges ahead?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
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Mohsen Gul
23.11.2020
Firstly, congratulations for convening this vey timely conversation. As the world gears up to recover from COVID-19 pandemic and create a 'new normal', there is an opportunity to rethink better integration of volunteerism in sustainable development at all levels.
Here are my two cents on the questions:

1.How have public policies or strategies in your country integrated volunteering into wider efforts to achieve the SDGs?
A: Few countries have explicitly and many have implicitly integrated volunteering into wider policies, strategies and actions around SDGs. In Pakistan, a national consultation with UNV field office and key volunteering stakeholders was undertaken in 207 which concluded in the need of having volunteering indicators built in VNR reporting mechanism at provincial and federal levels. In lieu of COVID-19 recovery, country is in process of forming the first youth volunteering policy in which such indicators and integration with other governmental and non-governmental structures to help further the SDG agenda. Civic engagement/ volunteering has been a surge in many communities. The reactive policymaking going on right now in response to the pandemic should apply a broader integration lens and contextualise importance of volunteering across the policy and practice spectrum.

2.What evidence shows whether this integration has added value?
A: The answer is far more complicated than a mere yes and no. It comes down to how this integration is measured and reported. Unfortunately, national data ecosystem is weak and marred with resource and coordination challenges. The current governance structure in Pakistan has a social welfare ministry at provincial and federal levels, but most volunteering agenda has been taken forward by disaster management authorities (in response to emergencies) or more recently through national youth engagement program at federal level. The continuously changing priorities and no clear house for the agenda remain a key deterrent in the way to integrate true value of volunteering in the SDG agenda. The SDG Support Units in the federal and provincial governments need to take this up as a key agenda priority to mainstream volunteering across all policy and practice domains.

3.What have you or your partners done to successfully influence policymakers to integrate volunteering?
A: I have directly contributed through widening the evidence base around volunteering and policy structures in the country. There is a need to bring volunteering on top priority agenda and that can be done through evidence gathering and advocacy at all levels. UNDP Pakistan is helping the government utilise country's biggest Corona youth force- Tiger force- to recover better and stronger from the pandemic through youth volunteering policymaking. However, there is a need to bring all key stakeholders together to effective leverage this potential of young volunteers. At a global level, I am leading a global scoping exercise on youth volunteering and how the pandemic is changing the sector landscape.
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In reply to by Mohsengul

Tom Bannister
24.11.2020
Thank you Mohsen for kicking off the conversation and sharing your great comments!

I'm interested in hearing more about efforts to integrate Tiger Force and other volunteering into future policy-making in Pakistan. I remember reading that the volunteers are also being used for non-COVID tasks. I wonder how and where they will be integrated in the future and how this builds on lessons learned from the COVID-response. With a focus on integration, could you share more details of what you are working on here? Feel free to invite a UNDP Pakistan/govt colleague to join us of course :)

I'm also intrigued about your scoping exercise and the general question of how COVID is changing the volunteering landscape. Do you have any examples or links that you could share from the exercise that speak to the topic of integration?
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In reply to by Tom Bannister

Mohsen Gul
26.11.2020
Thanks Tom, there is definitely appetite at the government level to see how Tiger force becomes an integral volunteer response bank beyond COVID-19 response and support the recovery component also. However, there is evidence from 2005 earthquake on how a national volunteer movement was put together but the agenda soon died as there was limited ownership and sustained engagement. There is a need to think of the bigger society agenda here and align this growing force into an effective volunteer platform.

On the scoping exercise, it should be published soon so will share that. Broadly, many high income countries are responding to increasing youth employment due to COVID-19 through paid social engagement programs which might blur boundaries of paid work and volunteering so a lot of thought is needed to fully understand the risks and opportunities.
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Vincent Odigie
24.11.2020
Good afternoon from Nigeria ,I represent the Nigeria Volunteers Network

Nigeria response to the SDGs have been lacking in focus because a lot of people do not know what the SDGs are . There's no serious advocacy project to firstly introduce the SDGs as an information that we all need to be aware of, government efforts are tied to getting a special assistant on SDGs who probably will not be able to outline the 17 goals

Our focus will be equipping volunteers with information about the goals and creating projects for a step down from our primary school all the way to our universities

Volunteers are ready to implement but lack basic skills in carrying out their functions,a lot have been said about training but it's limited and organizations championing such tend to be selective,we can do more when and if we have more , the volunteers in Nigeria championing the SDGs only recently connected via the Nigeria Volunteers Network, and we're strained providing the much needed support for an effective voluntary service, the ten years we have to make the needful difference may be spent planning and implementation sidelined because of lack of government support and unskilled uninformed volunteers

In Nigeria policy makers need to know the role volunteers would play in implementing the SDGs before any action positive to the course can be taken,proper and accurate information carefully presented to create the space for much needed dialogue and feedback must be introduced, organizations must show willing to train and equip volunteers in rural areas.

The Nigeria Volunteers Network, have begun a systematic approach in addressing lack of popular information about the SDGs, we're designing an SDG learning resource for schools, detailing the 17 goals in easy to read stories for primary School and a broader approach to the goals for senior classes

The Nigeria Volunteers Network will present a proposal outlining the role of volunteers in the process of getting the learning resource across to every child in Nigeria.
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In reply to by Vincent

Tom Bannister
25.11.2020
Thank you Vincent for your interesting reflections! I have grouped your comments together into one post, hope that's ok.

Im interested in hearing more from you about how evidence on the impact of volunteering can lead to greater integration. When you say "In Nigeria policy makers need to know the role volunteers would play in implementing the SDGs before any action positive to the course can be taken" - what would that look like in the Nigerian context ? What types of evidence and on what aspect of volunteering? what kind of spaces to present the evidence would be needed and how could the evidence reach and influence decision-makers? Please do share any examples if you have them.

Also, do you have any links that you can share about the work of the Nigeria Volunteers Network including your work on SDG learning in schools?
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Profile picture for user Vincent

In reply to by Tom Bannister

Vincent Odigie
26.11.2020
For the role of volunteers be taken seriously in Nigeria, policymakers must give it the necessary legislative backing. In Nigeria there's no out right legislation that defines what volunteering is, the role of volunteers and the organization to which they are volunteering, the right and responsibilities of the volunteers. As a result of this youths are not interested in volunteering their skills and that is why achieving the SDG by 2030 would not be feasible. The 17 goals are represented in every decipline, of which every year we have graduates in every field.

After service year majority of Corp members are not employed if perhaps we had a volunteer commission like which every applicant can dedicate four hours of their time every day we will not have shortage of man power in every sector
To get our policy makers involved let the UN office Nigeria propose a work plan to the Nigerian Governments with a time frame from January 2021- November 2021

WORK PLAN ON ACHIEVING SDG THROUGH VOLUNTEERING .

ISSUES : Most youths don't believe or are not interested in volunteering because the concept is alien to our system and there's no legislation giving it any backing by policy makers.

Activities : Stake holders meeting on grass root advocacy and sensitisation on achieving SDG via volunteering.

Advocacy visit to legislators ( Committee in Charge of SDG) at both federal and state levels.

Awareness campaigns with media houses, companies and vendors selling or producing children products.

Indicators: Drafting and Passage of the Nigerian Volunteers Act

Number of youths and graduates that can volunteer to achieve the 17 goals.

Target Stakeholders :
UN Country Representative Nigeria
UN SDG coordinator
UN Volunteers Representative
Minister For Youth and Sport
Senate Committee on SDG (upper and lower house)
State houses of assembly committee chair on SDG
Commissioners for youth and sport of the 36 states.
Head of ministries, parastatasal and agencies.
Media organizations
CSOs
Head of Youth groups.
Religious Leaders

The Nigeria Volunteers Network is working to design the SDGs learning resource, and would share with you before the end of this project.

Our website is almost ready, and you can spy out our objections,www.nigeriavolunteersnetwork.org.ng

See some of our projects with our partners Bellow

https://www.facebook.com/124011529284881/posts/168436424842391/

https://www.facebook.com/124011529284881/posts/149689096717124/

https://www.facebook.com/124011529284881/posts/138894601129907/

https://www.facebook.com/124011529284881/posts/126894108996623/

The Nigeria Volunteers Network will share more of her projects and success as we proceed
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In reply to by Vincent

Vincent Odigie
26.11.2020
Waiting for policy makers to do the needful wouldn't stop our advocacy to get information about the SDGs and vital role volunteers will play in achieving them accross our universities.

Plans to collaborate with student organizations and implement a survey project with key questions of

Would you volunteer for sustainable development

What role would you fit in

The survey will outline the SDGs and the call to action

Findings will be shared with the UNV and relevant departments with focus on best approach to activating SDG volunteers platforms in our universities.
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Aisha Aboshala
24.11.2020
cannot answer the questions because the situation in my country is unstable, and there is political confusion that prevented the lack of adequate answers to these questions.
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In reply to by aisha1996

Tom Bannister
25.11.2020
Thank you Aisha for your comment. I would be interested to hear about how you view the role of volunteering in tackling your country's instability, and how you feel that some first steps could be taken to integrate it better into wider solutions to the problems? For example, do you think there is a role for volunteers in enhancing transparency or accountability? Or if one of the instability challenges is related to disaster risks - how are volunteers being supported to build resilience and what could be improved to make them fully supported as part of wider responses?
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Profile picture for user Yiannis Yiannaki
Yiannis Yiannaki
25.11.2020
In the Republic of Cyprus we have established a presidential Commissioner for Volunteerism and Non Governmental Organizations, in charge for implementing policies for Volunteerism, Non Governmental Organizations, Active Citizenship and Civil Society.

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR VOLUNTEERISM AND
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS
REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS
http://www.volunteercommissioner.gov.cy/

ACTION PLAN

Third Sector Policy: The Office of the Commissioner for Volunteerism and Non-Governmental Organisations implements the policy for the third sector in Cyprus. The four pillars are:
1. Civil Society
2. Active Citizenship
3. NGOs
4. Volunteerism

Legislation for the Registration of NGOs: We undertook important initiative in changing the Law that establishes NGOs as legal entities in Cyprus. With the support of the Council of Europe experts, NGOs and Governmental Agencies, the Cyprus Parliament recently voted for important changes. Transparency in their finances and good and democratic administration are the main changes in the Law.

Law for the Certification of Non-Governmental Organisations as Charity Organisations with the benefits of tax discounts: After our initiative and the support of UNDP and the Council of Europe, we have submitted to the Parliament the new Law that will determine “what a charity NGO is”, based on a transparent process and criteria.

Public Consultation Day: The aim of the Public Consultation Day is to give citizens the opportunity to express their opinions and exchange views about specific matters, in order to influence governmental policies. The Council of Ministers has approved the establishment of the 4th of December as the Public Consultation Day. The President of the Republic and the Ministers organise open days with the Civil Society, which provide citizens with the opportunity to have a fruitful dialogue with governmental officials.

Day for the Citizens: The Council of Ministers has approved our suggestion for the establishment of the 15th of September as the Day for the Citizens. In the framework of that day, we have organised an informal Council of Ministers meeting, with the participation of 700 citizens, targeting students from high schools, colleges and universities, as well as youth from NGOs. After the completion of the meeting, the participants had an open discussion with the President of the Republic of Cyprus and Ministers about issues that concern them.

Volunteerism and Active Citizenship in Schools: Our Office, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, has introduced the policy of volunteerism and active citizenship in schools. A guide with good practices and guidelines of how teachers can engage in activities and initiatives in their school was distributed to all school units. Meeting with teachers and principals were organised in all districts of Cyprus to promote and exchange ideas on the best possible implementation of our guide. In every school unit, a teacher and a student were appointed as contacts for volunteerism and active citizenship.

In 2020 we will establish the “Adopt a School” programme that will create synergies between the School Unit, Local Society and different stakeholders.

By January 2021, with the cooperation and guidance of the Pedagogical Institute, we will implement a programme creating innovate booklet for each goal for children and youth activities for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The programme its for all level of schools.

Declaration of the “Rights and Responsibilities of Volunteers”: The approval by the Council of Ministers of the Declaration for the “Rights and Responsibilities of Volunteers’’ ratifies, at a political level, an important document that reinforces and improves the Volunteerism Sector (including Non-Governmental Organisations). The Declaration establishes a common base for the support and improvement of the volunteerism sector. It also serves as a “Code of Conduct”.

Policy Paper on the Empowerment of Civil Society in Cyprus (approved by the Council of Ministers-July 2017): The Paper seeks to promote a discussion on how Civil Society in Cyprus can be active, especially through measures that can be undertaken by both the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and Civil Society. In addition to this, it presents the current situation of the organised Civil Society in Cyprus, the international standards and the vision for its empowerment. We have created a structured cooperation between the Government and the Civil Society.

Charter for Active Citizenship (approved by the Council of Ministers-July 2017) - Active Citizenship: It provides the means of how people can get involved at all levels of the society, from towns to cities to nationwide activity. It supports democratic cooperation that is based on the acceptance of universal human rights and the rule of law, values diversity and includes the whole community.


European Solidarity Corps: We have supported the launching of the Programme in Cyprus and we support the dissemination of the information. We strongly encourage NGOs and youth to participate in the Programme. The office was accredited by the European Commission with Quality Label for Volunteering.

Infrastructure: Every District in Cyprus should have a “House of Volunteers”. This way it will be possible to provide NGOs with small offices, basic office equipment, a conference hall and a multi-purpose hall. The first “Houses of Volunteers” have already been established in Larnaca and in Nicosia. We are in the process of creating a “House of Volunteers” in the Kofinou Political Asylum Seekers Camp and in the mountain area of Troodos.

Infrastructure for Humanitarian Aid: We have establish the first National Coordination Centre for Humanitarian Support in times of crises.

International Conference “ACT FOR HERITAGE’’ in Cyprus: On the 24th-26th October 2019 Cyprus organised the first International Conference for the Offences relating to Cultural Property (the Nicosia Convention), with the participation of Governments and Civil Society.

Electronic Platform “prosfero.com”: It is a friendly active tool between the citizens and the NGOs. The online platform “prosfero.com” offers the opportunity to NGOs and the Civil Society to have an active relationship, to get informed on activities, seminars, announcements, photographic material, useful information on the NGOs, volunteer work, any kind of contributions etc.

Volunteers in Times of Crises: We have created a legal framework for the utilization of volunteers at any crisis that will have a supporting role to the Agencies, utilize volunteers’ expertise and human resources in times of crises. We also provide insurance for volunteers.

Animal Welfare: My office, according to a decision of the Council of Ministers of the Republic, was appointed responsible to coordinate the creation of an Agency that will be in charge of the Animal Welfare.

Recognition of Informal and Non-formal Learning: With the cooperation of the Ministry of Education and Culture, we are in the process of creating a road map for the recognition of non-formal and informal learning. In 2021 a pilot project will be implemented, with the cooperation of NGOs, as a first phase of the recognition.

Survey for Volunteerism in Cyprus 2017: For the second time in Cyprus we have a survey that shows the percentage of the participation of the Civil Society in volunteerism. The results of the survey show that the participation of the Cyprus population in volunteerism activities is 12,4%. Particularly encouraging is the fact that the highest number of survey participants who answered that they participated in voluntary work, either collectively or individually, are among the ages of 16-29 and 30-39. This may indicate that the trend towards volunteerism is changing for the better.

Annual Active Citizen Awards: The aim of the awards is to highlight important actions of active citizenship and volunteering in Cyprus, creating by promoting worthy actions, a favorable environment to encourage even more citizens to join the volunteering movement. Highlighting initiatives that contribute to tackling social, environmental and humanitarian problems are of particular value not only at staff but also at social level.

Individuals or groups of candidates for the following categories may be nominated:
Volunteer Workers - Private Sector
Volunteer Workers - Public Sector
Active Citizen (over 18 years)
Active Student - High School
Special Category - National Guard and Volunteerism

The President of the Republic of Cyprus awards them at an annual event at the Presidential Palace.

Programme for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals 2030 of the UN
We are in the final face of creating a programme for mapping and encourage activities for the 17 goals of the UN. We will create a platform with 5 pillars. Schools and Universities, NGO and Civil Society, Public Sector, Private Sector and Local Authorities. The Stakeholders throw the platform, they could input activities, create synergies, and they can adopt one or several goals

Cooperation with Universities: Empowering our policy for the recognition of the non-formal and informal learning, we cooperate with the Universities in Cyprus for the promotion of Active Citizenship and relevant actions.

1st Special Olympics Festival: The Office of the Commissioner for Volunteerism and NGOs, with the cooperation of the Committee of Special Olympics in Cyprus, organised for the first time the Special Olympics Festival.

We also participate in a lot of Committees:
 Participation in the Crime Council Committee.
 Cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and NGOs on the Prevention and Fight against Terrorism and Extremism.
 Participation in the Advisory Committee for People with Special Needs.
 Participation in the National Committee on Drugs and Alcohol Abuse, establishing volunteerism and active participation as an important tool to fight illegal substances and delinquency.
 Participation in the Inter-agency Working Group for the establishment of the National Strategy for Youth.
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In reply to by Yiannis Yiannaki

Tom Bannister
26.11.2020
Thank you very much for sharing this really interesting and long list of initiatives! Its great to see so much being done to support volunteers in Cyprus.

I'm interested in hearing more about your work to integrate volunteering into the plans and policies of Ministries and agencies beyond education and youth. For example, you mention the humanitarian coordination center - are there other ongoing efforts to have volunteering supported as part of disaster risk reduction planning? or do you see any entry points to integrate volunteering into environmental protection efforts or healthcare?

I'm also particularly interested to hear your views on the role of evidence in promoting the integration of volunteering. Can you give any examples of evidence that has successfully proved the value of volunteering to policymakers? Do you see any strengths or gaps in the evidence that you have to hand, when you want to advocate for stronger integration of volunteerism? and do you have any recommendations to widen or deepen the evidence base, so that it better supports integration?
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Ahmed Ibrahim Metawee
25.11.2020
The current situation in Egypt is the dullest situation in all around the world. The service was very ridiculous in the public sector and most officials were controlled by stable replies as they were machine chatters. Relevant to the need of people or stopping by as any Robot which needs a repair for the work. So, the volunteering work was very difficult as they were so passive to the casual work in the naive meaning of service.
Thus, I had to make sustainable ideas and offer new Services to surprise the new government and succeed with their new stuff in work. In the meantime, I had to raise one of the best solutions which UN developed for the countries in Africa, the so-called: "Democracy development" and the lucky Chance gets a way to me as my present situation is the same situation of this current country. As they intended to deepen the democracy and sustain their work through it. A change means a lot to volunteering work and more important, the concurrent solution or the concord of an event.
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In reply to by aimty

Tom Bannister
26.11.2020
Thanks Ahmed for coming on here and sharing your perspective. Would it be possible if you could re-phrase your comment in another way, or post in another language? (we apologize that the platform does not currently offer a translation function).
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Juhee Woo
26.11.2020
Dear Tom,

Below are the answers I can provide from the Arab States.

1.How have public policies or strategies in your country integrated volunteering into wider efforts to achieve the SDGs?

: Many stakeholders in the AS region have launched youth volunteering programmes to build young peoples’ professional, technical, and soft skills. Bahrain, Morocco and Saudi Arabia have national policies that explicitly emphasize the contribution of youth to youth development and employability.

In Jordan, the Ministry of Youth runs Al-Hussein’s Work and Building Camps, in which around 20,000 people aged 12-24 took part last year. In order to institutionalize volunteerism, the Ministry of Youth has set up the Directorate of Volunteerism to empower young volunteers to respond and deal with crises and disasters - and provide assistance to those in need in the fields of health, environment, agriculture, to name a few. The volunteers shall be trained under Memorandums of Understanding signed with relevant government agencies and in accordance with labor regulations.

Furthermore, Jordan Volunteering Bank was also established, where “Nahno” platform,
operated by NAUA, one of the Crown Prince Foundation’s initiatives, in collaboration with the
UNICEF and partnership with the Ministry of Youth, became the basic foundation for this Bank. The platform offers volunteering opportunities across Jordan, and all volunteers can register in it. About 150 private sector companies and CSOs in Jordan have registered on the platform. Nahno platform makes it possible for volunteers to develop themselves and their capabilities by tracking down each and every volunteering opportunity accomplished by each volunteer.

Moreover, Jordan Volunteering Bank organizes the work of all entities and agencies involved
in volunteerism through an electronic platform and an application, with the purpose of enhancing their efforts and guiding all endeavors towards achieving sustainable development.

In Qatar, Reach Out to Asia has sent student volunteers to ten countries in Asia for community service and their skills development. Mandatory community volunteering in universities is taking place in some of the Arab states such as Jordan. Also, volunteering through schools at a young age is embedded in school curricula and the education system at large.


2.What evidence shows whether this integration has added value?

The minister of youth’s advisor of Jordan stresses the fact that one of the key aspects of supporting the need for volunteerism for the 2030 Agenda was to create incentives for volunteers. In this context, the volunteerism bylaws have been drafted in preparation for the issuance of an act, which will serve as a legislative framework for the rights and duties of volunteers, and create incentives for them, such as admission to universities, appointment to institutions, and redemption of the points obtained by volunteers in exchange for services provided to them from the public
or private sectors.

Also, programs run by the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity include a drug abuse prevention program, with ~29,000 young volunteers raising awareness of the campaign; the Pena initiative, by which volunteers assist children in orphanages with social & educational needs; and ‘Our future is in our hands’, where ~35,000 people were trained to participate in public work through their communities and raise awareness of local political participation.
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In reply to by Juhee.Woo

Tom Bannister
26.11.2020
Thanks for your comment Juhee! I'm interested in hearing more about the Jordan Ministry of Youth's Directorate of Volunteerism. In particular, how they are working to integrate volunteering into the work, plans and policies of other arms of the government. Do you think you could invite someone from the Directorate to share further on this?

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Sarah Igobwa
26.11.2020
Hallo everyone, my name is Sarah from Kenya. I could say, I am an informal volunteer since I have a passion to work alongside women in the rural area of western Kenya particularly to achieve goal 1,2 and 3 through agriculture. Through my observation, most volunteers are informal. What limits them in what they would like to achieve is limited finances. Our governments work on budgets where sometimes supporting volunteerism may not be a priority. However, if the government could collaborate with NGOs and come up with mechanisms that can support volunteers, there will be many volunteers coming up from both rural and urban areas.
In some areas, healthcare volunteers can be seen moving around and educating the community if there are any outbreaks of diseases. Eg malaria. They then distribute mosquitoes nets and very few cases of malaria patients are realised. In urban areas, we have those who visit Cancer kids in hospitals to give them hope. But they can only do if for a period of time because of limited funds.
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Discussion Moderators

Katrina Borromeo
Facilitator
Tom Bannister
Facilitator

Discussion Members

Katrina Borromeo
Member
Tom Bannister
Member
Mohsen Gul
Member
Vincent Odigie
Member
Aisha Aboshala
Member
Yiannis Yiannaki
Member
Ahmed Ibrahim Metawee
Member
Juhee Woo
Member
Sarah Igobwa
Member

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