The forth state of the world’s volunteerism report /SWVR/ with the title ‘Building equal and inclusive societies’ has been launched on Thursday, May 2, 2022 at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa hall.
The launch took the global discussion on the report to the regional level to initiate and generate moments for a sustainable regional conversation on SWVR 2022 finding and raise awareness among stakeholders, policy makers and institutions in Africa.
The UN report argued that strong cooperation between volunteers and governments in Africa is needed and highlighted the volunteer states relationship, the deliberative governance, the co-production of services as well as the social innovation that offers policy recommendations.
The report encourages policy makers to ‘Build Forward Better’ together with volunteers and presented new evidence on volunteer– state partnerships.
Cooperation between volunteers and governments is said to be a keystone that helps build collaborative decision-making whilst increasing inequalities worldwide calls for a new type of social contract with a renewed emphasis on inclusion, the Report reveals. Despite the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic, global interest in volunteering has not waned, and volunteering in communities has endured despite limited mobility and resources.
While restrictions have prevented many people from volunteering in person, many have switched to volunteering online. The Report draws on case study research in Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Latin America and the Caribbean, and concludes that, the monthly number of volunteers aged 15 years and older amounts to over 850 million worldwide.
Volunteerism is a collective action undertaken to improve society and civic life. It includes voluntary service in local communities as well as participation in government decision-making. This research comes at a crucial moment as countries start to build forward from the pandemic and institutions need to engage volunteers as key partners.
The Report identifies three models to highlight volunteer-state relationships – the deliberative governance, the co-production of services and the social innovation – and offers policy recommendations.
Decision makers are encouraged to, promote volunteering beyond service delivery to include social innovation and inclusiveness, strengthen public social recognition of volunteers especially as they are not financially rewarded, create space where both volunteers and state authorities can share their experiences and establish common ground, invest in measurement and data on volunteers and support research on volunteerism.
As part of the SWVR preparation, UNV and Gallup conducted research to study the patterns of volunteerism during COVID-19. The multi-country primary data collection was conducted in March -April 2021, including a survey of eight thousand people in eight countries of Bolivia, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal, Thailand, Turkey and Uzbekistan.