Volunteering for post-2015

Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in addressing development challenges.

UNV co-leads UNDG post-2015 dialogue on Partnerships with civil society and other actors

The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) officially launched its Dialogues on Implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda. These dialogues continue the global conversation which has involved in 2013 almost two million people around the world in identifying priorities for the future development framework. While the first round of UNDG Post 2015 consultations focused on "what" should go in the new agenda, this second round focuses on "how" the new agenda should be implemented.

The post-2015 dialogues are a new opportunity to advance the recognition and integration of volunteerism in the new development agenda. P2015Dial icons w530

UNV is directly involved in two of the six dialogue thematic areas:

  • Localizing the post-2015 development agenda
  • Helping to strengthen capacities and institutions
  • Participatory monitoring for accountability - UNV is contributing agency
  • Partnerships with civil society and other actorsUNV is co-leader together with UNFPA, UN Millennium Campaign and UN-NGLS
  • Engaging with the private sector
  • Culture and development

The dialogues on partnerships with civil society take place in Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho, Saint Lucia, and Tunisia. In these countries, different stakeholders will discuss the partnerships and mechanisms through which civil society organizations can be fully involved in implementing the post-2015 agenda. The national dialogues are complemented by a global e-discussion – see http://www.worldwewant2015.org/civilsociety2015.

UNV Field Units and Volunteers also support the dialogues in several other countries, on a case-by-case basis; some UN Volunteers actually serve as national focal points for the consultations.

Preliminary findings from the dialogues will be presented to UN Member States ahead of the General Assembly in September this year and inform the related Secretary-General Report. UNV encourages partners and stakeholders to join the national and global e-dialogues, to including volunteer voices across the different thematic areas.

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The power of engagement: gender, volunteerism and governance in the post-2015 development agenda

New York, USA: On 18 March 2014, a UNV side event to the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58) discussed findings and experiences on ways to ensure that women's participation in public life through volunteerism breaks barriers of gender stereotypes and ensures more sustainable and more equitable development outcomes as the post-2015 agenda takes shape.

The event was attended by more than 100 participants, including UN agencies, civil society organizations and numerous member states. The panel included Rosemary Kalapurakal, Deputy Executive Coordinator, UNV; H.E. Ms. Sophie Kalinde, Ambassador, Chair of the Malawi Human Rights Commission; Dan Seymour, Deputy Director of Programmes, UN Women; Sapreet Saluja, Deputy Chair of the World Board of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS); Catherine Nixon, Community Health Worker and Mobilizer in Nepal, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). Mtisunge Kachingwe, Volunteer for women's health projects in Malawi, World YWCA, and Karen Scheuerer, Youth and Volunteerism Specialist, Peace Corps, gave statements from the floor.

UNV Deputy Executive Coordinator chairs UNV side event at CSW58 on gender, volunteerism and governance in post-2015Ms Kalapurakal, UNV Deputy Executive Coordinator, introduced the event starting from the theme of CSW58: challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls.

The debate focused around two key questions: what is needed to ensure that volunteerism as a form of civic engagement is recognized as a legitimate pathway to address development challenges in the post-2015 agenda, and how can countries ensure that more women - especially young women and girls – are able to take leadership responsibilities and have an impact on development outcomes.

A lively discussion involved several participants, including Hon. Dr Notarine Sangare, the Minister of Gender of Burkina Faso. The event concluded with agreement on the fact that governance is based on accountability and accountability only grows through commitment to the common cause. Volunteerism engages people in addressing development challenges from the bottom up. The new post-2015 sustainable development framework will only honour its name if it includes mechanisms providing pathways for women and men to proactively engage in planning and implementation in a shared and complementary effort with all other stakeholders. The degree to which people are able to engage in voluntary action is therefore an indicator of effective local governance. Member States shaping the new development framework should ensure that all resources and partnerships are leveraged and recognized and the added value of volunteering is acknowledged.

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Open consultation: Open Working Group seeks comments on their 'focus areas document' - Deadline extended to 21 March

The Open Working Group (OWG) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has concluded its eight information-collection sessions, during which they discussed a great number of topics to frame the successors of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Their 'focus areas document' sets out 19 broad issues for consideration.

The OWG would like to hear your thoughts on the focus areas document, answering the following questions:

You can submit your comments at The World We Want 2015 until Friday 21 March 2014.

The recently released UNV's Overview on advocating for volunteerism post-2015, which illustrates the complementary role that volunteerism could play in the context of the post-2015 agenda, could be a starting point to formulate comments from a volunteerism perspective.

Read UNV's comments to the focus areas document

UN Secretary-General Youth Envoy calls for partners to join the Global Partnership for Youth in the post-2015 development agenda

YouthEnvoy SocMediaGraphics-1v2The UN Secretary-General Youth Envoy has recently launched the Global Partnership for Youth in the post-2015 development agenda, bringing together UN agencies and many stakeholders to help ensure that youth priorities are reflected in the post-2015 framework.

Through an online platform, youth and youth-development stakeholders from around the world will identify and formulate what they think should be included in the post-2015 development agenda that pertains to youth. The exercise will address five of the 16 thematic areas identified in the MyWorld2015 survey, namely Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship, Health, Good Governance, and Peace and Stability.

Register to join the partnership - Deadline for registration: 10 February 2014

People need to be actively engaged both during and after the post-2015 process, according to the latest UNDG issue brief for the Open Working Group meeting which opens today

The UNDG issue brief for the 8th meeting of the Open Working Group (OWG) underlines the connection between citizen engagement and local governance by pointing at the need to involve people not only to hear their voice in the planning phases that  define priorities for policy-making, but also to actively engage them in the roll out and implementation of policies and strategies. The brief includes findings from the thematic consultations on environmental sustainability, addressing inequalities, conflict & violence, and governance.

United Nations Development Group (UNDG) People’s Voices Issues Brief address the topics of the meetings of the OWG, drawing upon existing material from the national, regional and thematic consultations, along with findings from relevant thematic consultations and analysis of the relevant findings of the MY World survey.

The 8th OWG meeting opens today to last for the entire week, covering a wide range of topics: oceans and seas; forests and biodiversity; promoting equality, incl. social equity, gender equality and women's empowerment; conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and promotion of durable peace; rule of law and governance. The OWG is mandated by the Rio+20 Outcome document to prepare a proposal on SDGs for consideration by the UN General Assembly at its 68th session (Sept. 2013 – Sept. 2014).

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UNV youth consultations in Bangladesh rank equality as top priority for development

BGD Post-2015 Youth-English w200Equality emerged by far as the main development priority from three national youth consultations organized in Jessore, Chittagong and Dhaka by UNV Bangladesh and Bangladesh volunteer groups. Youth emphasized the need for non-discrimination, whether by gender, sexual orientation, colour, caste, class, religion or abilities.

The consultations are part of the global conversation on the post-2105 development agenda that is under definition. Outreach to youth and their overall inclusion are among UNV's priorities. 'The world we want - Bangladeshi youth voices on a post-2015 world' presents the views of young people from Bangladesh on their top ten development issues, along with suggested ways forward and requests to decision-makers. It is interesting to note that the priorities set by the 84 Bangladeshi consultations participants match those expressed by other young people across the globe through the MY World survey.

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New UNV thematic papers summarize the contribution of volunteerism

UNV has released the first three thematic papers of a series that summarizes the contribution of volunteerism to different issues and highlight its cross-cutting role. These papers support UNV's advocacy efforts to recognize volunteerism in the post-2015 development agenda as a form of civic engagement that provides a key complementary mechanism for social, economic and environmental transformation.

  • The UNV issue brief on Peacebuilding and volunteerism uses evidence from post-conflict situatioIssueBrief---stack 3ns to illustrate how volunteerism can be a key means for supporting national peacebuilding and global sustainable development.
  • The UNV issue brief on Social inclusion and volunteerism uses research-based evidence to show that volunteerism, when well facilitated, can be a powerful mechanism for promoting social inclusion all over the world. Any framework that aims to reverse a "top-down" approach must recognize the contributions of volunteerism in aiding progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and ensuring sustainable human development in a post-2015 world.
  • The UNV issue brief on Environmental sustainability and volunteerism demonstrates that incorporating volunteerism into the post-2015 development framework as a mechanism for achieving environmental sustainability is absolutely critical. When well facilitated, volunteerism not only supports the achievement of environmentally sustainable outcomes but also promotes long-term processes and shifts in mindsets that sustain environmental gains.

Volunteer-involving organizations and other stakeholders can use them as reference materials for advocacy opportunities. The closest opportunity to-date is the 8th session the Open Working Group (OWG) on 3-7 February 2014, where discussions will address equality, gender equality and women's empowerment as well as conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance.

New opportunities to advocate for the integration of volunteerism in the post-2015 framework

Following the announcement of six additional sessions by the Co-Chairs of the Open Working Group, the President of the United Nations General Assembly H.E. Dr. John W. Ashe has recently announced the organization of three high-level events and three thematic debates between February and June 2014 to set the stage for the post-2015 Development Agenda.

In preparation for these events, the President of the General Assembly will hold an interactive briefing with civil society working with NGLS/DESA/DPI to inform and encourage the contributions of civil society and other relevant stakeholders in the events. The interventions from civil society have the potential to contribute to the substantive background papers that will be prepared for the six events.

The concept notes prepared for two of these events include specific references to volunteerism and/or citizen participation:

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