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

Data at the lowest possible level: measuring volunteerism

WHEN: 5 March 2015, 1.15 – 2.30 pm
WHERE: Conference Room 1 (CB), UN headquarters, New York, USA

Discussions related to measuring and monitoring the post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs) are calling for a "data revolution." There is agreement that national data used to track MDG progress was inadequate, insufficiently reporting on inequalities and exclusion. That is, national statistical offices need to go beyond national level aggregates. Instead the call is for collecting disaggregated data "at the lowest possible level."

This UNV side event addressed the relevance of volunteerism to monitoring SDG progress. Panelists from ILO, academia, youth, and the UNDP Human Development Report Office discussed how:

  • volunteers can support data generation through community engagement and use of new media. This is also a means to ensure inclusion by engaging marginalized groups, such as youth;
  • disaggregated data at the lowest levels is already being gathered measuring volunteer participation through existing volunteer measurement/research methodologies. Measuring volunteer work could be included in decent work indicators. With agreement and capacities, existing volunteer measurement/research methodology could generate comparable data on volunteerism disaggregated by activity, area of focus, and demography which can be used as a measure of participation and inclusion for the purpose of SDG reporting.

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