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Briefing Papers

IVCO 2022 Framing Paper


Think Pieces

  • Volunteering By and For Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers
    • written by Andrée Ménard, Durable Solutions for Refugees Specialist at WUSC. This think piece explores the critical role that the Volunteering for Development sector can and must play in an era of rapidly increasing numbers of forced displacements of people.
  • The Key Ingredients in the Peace Corps Recipe for Success
    • written by Agnes Lam and Kris Besch of the Peace Corps Office of Global Operations. This document shares the ‘ingredient list’ of core attributes that the Peace Corps has identified as essential to their work, whatever form that work takes in the future.
  • Rethinking the Idea of Prosperity (As Flourishing) 
    • written by Dr Rebecca Tiessen of the University of Ottawa. This think piece  re-examines the concept of prosperity, explores what sustainable development might mean when viewed through the lens of flourishing, and asks what these concepts mean in the context of Volunteering for Development and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • We Need to Talk – Hosting Conversations on Climate Change and Unsustainability 
    • written by Chris O’Connell and Sive Bresnihan of Comhlámh. This document examines ideas of progress and modernity, links them to the inequalities at the heart of climate change, and challenges us to confront the question of how development and volunteering can normalise or reproduce them. 
  • Time of Crisis: Leadership for Volunteering and Community Resilience 
    • written by Nichole Cirillo and Wendy Osborne of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE). It explores the impact that the COVID-19 Pandemic had on volunteering leadership organisations and points to the importance of volunteering as we move past COVID and look to the future.
  • Partnership – Just Another Buzzword? 
    • written by Helge Espe of Norec. It  interrogates the concept of partnership, arguing that some partnerships are more equal than others and highlighting the skills that volunteer leaders need to build truly equal, effective partnerships. 
  • In Time, an Egg will Walk on its Feet! The Experience of Ethiopia in Building National Voluntary Infrastructure
    • written by Wendwossen Kebede, Cuso International Country Representative in Ethiopia. This piece unpacks the ideas and principles that informed this progress, including a focus on youth employment, efforts to promote volunteering,  strong standards for national volunteering, and placing sustainability at the centre of the design.
  • Rethinking Volunteering Through the Lens of African Communalism.
    • Written  by Oluwafunmilayo Taiwo, a BeyGOOD x Global Citizen Fellow. This piece explains that volunteering is embedded within the traditional communalism of many African cultures, including the ọmọlúwàbí, or public morality, philosophy of the Yoruba people. It encourages us to consider a motivation for voluntary action that comes from a place of service rather than sainthood, and calls on us to ensure that the opportunity to volunteer is open to all, not just a privileged few.
  • International Voluntary Service Praxis: A vehicle Reinforcing Colonial Legacies?
    •  Written by Ratherford Mwaruta of the Zimbabwe Workcamps Association. This think piece places international voluntary service in the context of travel by missionaries, explorers and colonisers.  It asserts that international volunteering echoes the relationships and power dynamics of coloniser and colonised while failing to address the root causes of poverty and inequality. It calls for this trend to be deconstructed by breaking the power structures that persist in international voluntary service
  • Blended Volunteering – A Decolonised Volunteering for Development Approach to achieve SDGs
    • Written by Rebecca Pursell-Gotz and Alok Rath of VSO. This think piece argues that the value of international volunteers is greatest when programmes recognise the value of local models through blended models of volunteering. Making the case for moving the ‘volunteering epicentre’, it presents blended volunteering models as adding a new dimension in our sector’s thinking on decolonisation.
  • Le volontariat sous le prisme de l’intersectionnalité pour lutter contre les inégalités
    • Written by Olga Houde and Ingrid Adovi from the Progromme CLÉ. This article discusses the benefits of bringing together volunteers from diverse backgrounds from an intersectional perspective, particularly for strategic mandates such as gender equality and inclusion (GEI). Also available in English here. 
  • Southern Expertise in Volunteering for Development
    • Written by Dr Alice Chadwick El and Samuel Turay. This think piece identifies a gap between rhetoric and reality on decolonisation and localisation, and asks what IVCOs can do to centre Southern expertise and re-imagine the connection between volunteering and development to deliver transformational change.
  • Volunteering for Development and Responding to Climate Change
    • Written by Cliff Allum, Peter Devereux, Rebecca Tiessen and Benjamin Lough. This think piece asks whether that paper’s core message – an urgent need for climate action – has been heard and actioned by Forum members. It sets out possible approaches to climate action by volunteer-involving organisations and calls for greater focus and greater action. In making specific recommendations, the authors call for ‘innovative models, conceptual frameworks, and culturally relevant, Global South-driven policies and practices.

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