State of the World’s Volunteerism

State of the World’s Volunteerism

What is the SWVR?

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) is a flagship United Nations publication that strengthens understanding of volunteerism and shows its universality, scope and reach in the twenty-first century.

The SWVR examines the contribution of volunteerism to peace and development based on a specific theme.


Produced every three years, the SWVR aims to enhance the recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteerism worldwide. 


What are the key findings of the 2022 State of the World's Volunteerism Report?

  • Volunteerism can promote a culture of collaborative decision-making. Volunteers contribute to shaping and prioritizing issues that are important to them, by working collaboratively with state authorities.
  • Volunteerism can alter unequal power relations. Volunteers have the capacity, through collaboration with state authorities, to reconfigure unequal power relations between ordinary citizens and state authorities.
  • Volunteerism offers diverse pathways to civic participation, but remains unequal. Volunteers have diverse causes to engage in and use various channels for, and approaches to, volunteering.
  • Volunteers build bridges. Volunteers are often in the unique position of brokering relationships between service providers and beneficiaries.
What are its unique features?
  • Robust evidence

    The report is based on primary and secondary research on the emerging trends of volunteerism worldwide to better inform policy and practice on volunteerism for development. UNV also convenes stakeholders as part of the global research agenda on volunteerism.

  • Diverse voices

    Each report forms part of a global conversation about the role of volunteerism in development. It brings together think tanks, Member States and academia, engaging them in debates on active citizenship and other relevant development topics.

  • Policy implications

    Each report exposes gaps in action, policy and practice, alongside trends, all of which must be addressed to harness volunteerism for development. It also provides specific policy and implementation actions targeting Member States, development peace and humanitarian actors on how to nurture volunteerism most effectively as part of a development challenge.

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