Measuring Volunteer Work

E-Learning course on Measuring Volunteer Work

Measuring Volunteer Work

19 September–14 October 2022
The course is available in English

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme will provide a number of fully funded course fellowships to highly motivated applicants from the global South who hold a leadership position in labour or social statistics at National Statistics Offices or other authorities producing official statistics on volunteering. Selection for fellowships will be based on information provided through the course application. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

Introduction to the course

Volunteer work, often referred to simply as "volunteering," is an essential renewable resource for social, economic and environmental progress all over the world. The contribution of volunteers to the well-being of individuals and communities plays an important role in keeping societies and communities together, building social cohesion and meeting the needs of many disadvantaged groups facing daily life challenges, especially during times of crisis. Recognizing this, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda calls on governments to work closely with volunteer groups for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. For this purpose, however, basic information on the number and characteristics of persons working willingly and without pay to support others is needed. Such information can help in producing better economic and social policies. Despite the widely acknowledged importance of volunteer work in society, little sustained effort has gone into measuring and analysing volunteer work in most countries. This course presents tools and recommendations provided by the 19th ICLS, with a particular focus on the LFSs add-on module, that experts can use to produce statistics on volunteer work. By supplementing existing data on employment and unpaid housework, statistics on volunteer work can facilitate a more complete understanding of the multiple ways in which people produce goods and services to satisfy their own and others' needs. 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. 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 by adding modules to labour-force or other household surveys. To unlock the full potential of volunteer work and contribute to the achievement of important development goals, it is essential to have relevant and reliable statistics on this subject.

Who attends this course?

The course targets statisticians from national statistical offices, ministries of labour and other institutions involved in the production of work-related and social statistics; governmental agencies responsible for developing and implementing volunteering policies, 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; employment and development policy analysts working for national statistical offices, research and academic institutions, international organizations and donor organizations.

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