Volunteer work, often referred to simply as "volunteering," is a crucial renewable resource for social and environmental problem-solving the world over. The scale of such work is enormous and the contributions it makes to the quality of life in countries everywhere larger still. Despite this, however, little sustained effort has gone into its measurement. The objective is to make available comparative cross-national data on a significant form of work that is growing in importance but is often ignored or rarely captured in traditional economic statistics. Doing so will help to fulfill the United Nations Secretary General's recommendations in his follow-up to the implementation of the International Year of Volunteers report (United Nations, 2005) that governments should "vigorously" pursue "actions to build up a knowledge base" about volunteer work and to "establish the economic value of volunteering". The ILO Department of Statistics, in collaboration with the ITCILO, is therefore proud to offer the first online edition of this course designed to guide countries in generating systematic and comparable data on volunteer work via regular supplements to labour-force or other household surveys. This will support evidence-based policy-making and help realize the vision of the UN Secretary General: building a strong database on volunteer work will have a solid impact on macro-economic policies, as well as furthering the ILO Decent Work agenda.
National statistical offices (NSOs); ministries of labour and related Institutions (such as labour observatories); governmental agencies responsible for labour-market data analysis and national SDG reporting; ILO Social Partners (employers' and workers' organizations); research and academic institutions; international organizations; development agencies; non-governmental organizations.