Volunteers Research Tool Kit
Monday, 5th March 2001 at 12:03 pm
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Group and the US-based “INDEPENDENT SECTOR” Not for Profit organisation has released a guide called Measuring Volunteering.
It is a practical toolkit to help researchers around the world gather and showcase statistics on the important contributions volunteers make in their societies.
Measuring Volunteering: A Practical Toolkit is aimed at helping those
wanting to study volunteer behaviour. It features background information and suggestions empowering researchers, especially those in developing countries, to produce empirical data to underpin policy measures related to volunteering.
According to the International Year of the Volunteer organisers the main objective of the project is to provide sufficient facts to show governments and other decision-makers that volunteering deserves their support.
It says research using the principles in the Toolkit can also encourage citizens to volunteer by demonstrating the social and personal benefits that volunteering can bring. As well, the initiative can help educate the media and the private, public and Not for Profit sectors about volunteering.
Researchers and practitioners from 10 countries including Australia pooled their expertise to produce this handbook which explains how to promote volunteering by carrying out a comprehensive survey of its extent and nature. It is designed to assist countries worldwide in undertaking measurement studies at national, regional and local levels.
Australia’s contribution to the coordinating committee that produced the toolkit came from the expertise of Mark Lyons from the University of Technology’s School of Management in Sydney.
The significance of volunteer data, where it exists, is well acknowledged.
According to “INDEPENDENT SECTOR”, volunteering carried out through Not for Profit, business, and government organisations in the United States has been estimated to be equivalent to nine million full-time jobs.
A survey carried out in the United Kingdom suggested that volunteering is worth around £40 billion per annum, making it the third largest contributor to the nation’s gross domestic product.
In Canada, out of the 24 million people aged 15 or older, 7.5 million volunteer.
The toolkit and full report can be downloaded at:
http://www.iyv2001.org/infobase/research/01_02_15USA_Vol_Toolkit.PDF (PDF, 382 kb).