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Guidance material

Reflecting volunteer contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals in Voluntary National Reviews - Guidance Note for United Nations System

Volunteerism and the SDGs

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The guidance note provides key information to United Nations Entities about how to include volunteerism’s contributions in Voluntary National Reviews.


  • United Nations General Assembly resolution 73/140 of 17 December 2018 encourages governments, in partnership with United Nations entities, volunteer-involving organizations and other stakeholders, to take several steps, such as : a) integrate volunteerism into national development strategies, plans and policies, b) include information on the scale, contribution and impact of volunteerism in VNRs , and c) engage volunteers to monitor progress towards achieving the SDGs at the national and subnational levels and as part of a wider citizen engagement effort.
  • Incorporating information about volunteerism in national plans and policies into the VNRs is vital. Doing so ensures that the difference volunteers make to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is understood and capitalized upon. Governments can then determine the best means for implementing national development plans, including through engagement at the local level, and highlight gaps and opportunities for achieving the SDGs.
  • United Nations entities can encourage Member States and provide the needed input for them to recognize volunteer contributions to the SDGs in their respective VNRs. Many projects and operations across the United Nations system involve national and international UN Volunteers, and their roles can be highlighted in the VNR input provided to governments.