Key UNV Publications

State of the World’s Volunteerism Report Universal Values for Global Well-being 2011



This first State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) launched in many countries around the world as part of global and national events being supported by UNV to mark the 10th Anniversary of International Year of Volunteers in 2011. This report offers both information and advocacy for the role and contribution of volunteerism in peace and development which includes achieving the MDGs.

The focus of the report is on the universal values that motivate people the world over to volunteer for the common good and on the impact of volunteer action on society and individuals. UNV believe in the power of volunteering to promote cooperation, encourage participation and contribute to the well-being of individuals and of society as a whole.

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The report provides numerous examples of the transformational changes that volunteers experience and produce. It is shown why volunteerism is crucial to human development. More importantly, UNV argues that a truly human society needs to be driven by the values of trust, solidarity and mutual respect which inspire all volunteers.

In preparing this first United Nations report on volunteerism, it addresses numerous definitional and methodological issues. UNV is well aware that further study and research are needed to refine our understanding of the nature and extent of this expression of human endeavor. This report represents the starting point for a broader debate, not a definitive answer. In future years, it is intended to deepen our understanding of the motivations, scope, value and impact of volunteerism worldwide.




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