Volunteers termed vital to development success

June 6, 2015 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: Volunteers are playing a vital role in making governments worldwide more accountable and responsive to their citizens, but their potential is seriously under-valued, says a new report by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme issued from New York.

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015 is the first global survey of the contribution of volunteers to better governance, a prerequisite for the success of the new Sustainable Development Goals to be agreed at the United Nations in September.

Drawing on evidence from countries as diverse as Brazil, Kenya, Lebanon and Bangladesh, the UN report, entitled Transforming Governance, shows how ordinary people are volunteering their time, energies and skills to improve the way they are governed at local, national and global levels.

Volunteers are working with governments and civil society to hold those in power to account, to influence policies and laws and to represent the voices of those who are often left out of development decisions. The end result, the report says, is more inclusive – and ultimately more effective – development.

By creating environments for people to volunteer their time, it is possible to use their skills and knowledge for the common good in the sphere of governance, said Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator of UNV. Change will occur with greater civic engagement broadening the number of people who have voice, who can participate and who can hold governance actors to account.

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015 says there is widespread agreement that future development efforts will have to include radically different approaches in order to better engage people in their own, their communities’ and their countries’ development.