The first ever global Volunteering for Development standard has been created by the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum). The Global Standard for Volunteering for Development will ensure more responsible and impactful volunteering, and will help organisations positively contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Standard is not simply a set of rules, it is a resource that can be taken up by any organisation working in the volunteering and development sectors, providing standards that will strengthen outcomes and provide care and protection for volunteers and the people and communities they work with.
The Standard is designed to ensure that:
- All development programmes are designed in partnership with local communities so they respond to community needs
- All community members and volunteers are kept safe and free from harm
- The intended impact of the programme is identified before and tracked throughout
- Volunteers are fully prepared, trained and supported
How was the Standard made?
The Standard came about as a result of a global, multi-stakeholder consultation process involving several hundred individuals and organisations and workshops in nine countries.
These organisations include volunteer-sending organisations, volunteer-hosting organisations, community representatives, youth-volunteer organisations, commercial organisations and governments, as well as national and international volunteers.
Why a Standard?
The Forum membership identified the need to advance good practice within the sector because it is essential that in order to be impactful, volunteering organisations must be responsible, transparent and respectful, and their work must be based on genuine partnerships and measurable outcomes.
Forum believe that this standard will strengthen that work, providing guidance and reassurance to assist the volunteering for development community with their efforts.
It follows a similar process of consultation and development as the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), which has been widely adopted by individuals and organisations working in humanitarian response.
Launching the Standard
The Global Standard for Volunteering for Development will be officially launched at Forum’s annual conference of International Volunteer Cooperation Organisations, which takes place in Rwanda, 27-30 October 2019.
Volunteering organisations will be encouraged to sign up to the commitments of the Standard to demonstrate to volunteers, partner organisations, donors and governments that their programmes align with good development practices and the SDGs.