Research

44 Questions about Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality IVCO 2021 Introductory Paper

GERASIMOS KOUVARAS, 2021

This Introductory Paper for IVCO 2021 introduces the conference theme – Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality, and sub-themes – Decolonisation, Digitalisation, and Directionality. Each topic is introduced by a short theoretical text followed by a set of questions aiming to inspire and mobilise discussion at IVCO 2021 and beyond. It is part of a research series for IVCO 2021 that also includes a Framing Paper by Benjamin Haas and Victor Moinina and a series of think pieces on aspects of the conference theme.

Gerasimos Kouvaras is the Country Director of ActionAid in Greece and a member of the Forum Board.  Before joining ActionAid, among others, Gerasimos served Amnesty International as Director for Greece and the Greek Ministry of Education as Special Advisor on Volunteering and the Youth Sector. He has 25 years of engagement as executive director, instructor, advisor and volunteer in and for the civil society sector at the national and international level. Gerasimos is also a PhD in Management candidate at Cass Business School of City University of London and he holds an MBA from Nottingham Trent University, concentrating on non-profit management (dissertation on volunteer satisfaction), and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki.

Full details of the IVCO 2021 conference, hosted by Forum and ActionAid Hellas from the 16th to the 21st of October 2021, can be found at ivco2021.org


Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality – Linking Decolonisation and Diversity IVCO 2021 Framing Paper

BENJAMIN HAAS AND VICTOR MOININA, 2021

This framing paper for IVCO 2021 connects debates around decolonising aid and development with discussions on diversity and inclusion in Volunteering for Development (V4D) programmes.  Both themes are ultimately centred around questions of power, privilege, structural discrimination and exclusive mechanisms. It aims to provide an overview of current debates and their importance for the V4D sector and thereby set the ground for further discussions at the IVCO 2021 conference.

It directs  attention to the internal structures of the V4D sector and questions such as: Who gets to volunteer and who does not – and why? How does this impact volunteering experiences and outcomes? How is this connected with debates around decolonisation in the context of power dynamics, privilege and inequality? What approaches and ideas can lead to the decolonisation of V4D programmes and initiatives?

This paper builds upon the conversations of IVCO 2018 and its framing paper on ‘Inclusive Development.’


To Hell with Good Intentions IVCO 2021 Think Piece

HELGE ESPE, 2021

This piece by Elaine Sly, a volunteer with CBM Ireland’s project VIVID: Technical Assistance in Humanitarian Response, Ensuring Valuable Volunteering and Inclusion of persons with Disabilities. It offers a volunteer perspective on the rise of online volunteering and the challenges and opportunities it presents in terms of accessibility, resources, inclusion and diversity.  

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.


The Challenges and Opportunities of Inclusive Online Volunteering IVCO 2021 Think Piece

ELAINE SLY, 2021

This piece by Elaine Sly, a volunteer with CBM Ireland’s project VIVID: Technical Assistance in Humanitarian Response, Ensuring Valuable Volunteering and Inclusion of persons with Disabilities. It offers a volunteer perspective on the rise of online volunteering and the challenges and opportunities it presents in terms of accessibility, resources, inclusion and diversity.  

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.


Hierarchies of Place & Knowledge in Volunteering for Development IVCO 2021 Think Piece

ALICE CHADWICK EL-ALI, 2021

This piece by Alice Chadwick El-Ali of the University of Bath highlights the importance of volunteering, and volunteers, at the local and national levels, and calls for them to be better recognised and resourced. It draws attention to knowledge hierarchies that attach to volunteer modalities – ‘international’, ‘national’ and ‘community’ and the inequalities that produce these hierarchies.

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.


Inequalities & Imbalances in Research on Volunteering for Development IVCO 2021 Think Piece

DR. CHRIS MILLORA, 2021

This piece by Dr. Chris Millora of the University of East Anglia addresses our limited research-based understanding of volunteering in the ‘Global South’ and challenges dominant, ‘Global North’-based understandings of volunteering. It suggests that our understanding could be enhanced through more participatory approaches to volunteering research, including ethnographic approaches.

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.


Digitalisation, Diversity & Inclusion in Volunteering for Development IVCO 2021 Think Piece

HELENE PEROLD AND BENJAMIN HAAS, 2021

This piece by Helene Perold and Benjamin Haas highlights some aspects of how digitalisation in volunteering for development has impacted on inclusive volunteering as a pathway to other forms of citizenship and peace building.

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.


Improving Organisational Programming, Culture & Practice IVCO 2021 Think Piece

CLAIRE BENNETT, 2021

This paper by Claire Bennett of AltoLearn sets out a pathway for international volunteering organisations to address structural, global issues of power dynamics, attitudes and systems. It calls for meaningful, bottom-up change, while encouraging us to question who is on the bottom and who is on top, and why.

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.


Reciprocity & the Sharing of Knowledge as a Gift IVCO 2021 Think Piece

JAN OLAV BAARØY, 2021

This think piece by Jan Olav Baarøy, Director General of the Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation (Norec) looks at the demands that organisations in the Global North make of their partners in the Global South, using the metaphor of a gift that can only be kept if used properly. This metaphor of gift-giving leads us to the concept of reciprocity, and how it can be applied to the sharing of skills and knowledge between ‘North’ and ‘South’.

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.


COVID-19, Inequality & Volunteering for Development – Considering a Capability Approach IVCO 2021 Think Piece

ALOK RATH, 2021

In this piece Dr. Alok Rath, Global Head of Knowledge, Evidence & Learning at VSO, considers the unequal way in which the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted economic, social and human impact in different parts of the world. He posits that a capability approach, and specifically a volunteering for development approach may emerge as a necessary model for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.


“A Poor Man Cannot Volunteer” IVCO 2021 Think Piece

MOSES OKECH, MATT BAILLIE SMITH, SARAH MILLS & BIANCA FADEL, 2021

Researchers from the Refugee Youth Volunteering Uganda Project (RYVU) present their findings on the diverse and sometimes contradictory meanings and understandings that the term ‘volunteer’ holds in Uganda, and the knock-on effect that these diverse understandings have on how organisations and policy-makers facilitate volunteering. The piece ends with three challenging questions –

  • Do volunteer engaging organisations understand and address how vulnerability shapes access to and experiences of their volunteering opportunities?
  • Does being more inclusive in volunteering help address the inequalities and vulnerabilities that shape the lives of groups such as young refugees, whose voluntary labour is sought?
  • Does the spread of ideas of volunteering originating in the Global North undermine efforts for more inclusive volunteering that tackle inequality within the Global South?

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.


Decolonising Thinking & Practice of Volunteering for Development IVCO 2021 Think Piece

BIANCA FADEL, 2021

This piece by Bianca Fadel of Northumbria University challenges academics and practitioners to reconsider our notions of volunteering and development, and our assumptions about the ways volunteering offers a pathway to development. It challenges us to ask ‘what sorts of volunteering lead to what kinds of development and for whom’, and proposes models of ‘supportive solidarity’

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.


What is Decolonisation Asking of Us? IVCO 2021 Think Piece

SIVE BRESNIHAN, 2021

This paper by Sive Bresnihan, Training & Education Officer with Comhlámh asks how the field of volunteering for development – which typically enjoys and asserts an aid of neutrality and benevolence – might meet growing calls for decolonisation. It calls on us, at IVCO and beyond, to break the cycle of conversations that ultimately lead us to the same place they started, ‘nothing ceded, entitlements and privilege intact’.

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality.