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

Post-2015 Volunteering Working Group

NYmtg crop MG 9996 w350To scale up efforts to make the impact of volunteering more visible in the post-2015 process, a task force of volunteer groups was established in 2013 following a UNV stakeholder meeting and the IVCO Conference. The task force aimed to support a more systematic integration of volunteerism as an enabling factors for the implementation of the sustainable development goals, including through related indicators to measure the achievements of some of the goals. In 2014, the task force evolved into the post-2015 Volunteering Working Group.

Working Group members include: Australian Volunteers International (AVI), FORUM, CUSO, Fredskorpset (FK Norway), France Volontaires, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE), Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA), World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts (WAGGGS), WorldTeach, and the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA).  To contact the Working Group, please write to Mr Adjmal Dulloo ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

UNV supports the activities of the post-2015 Volunteering Working Group as part of its role of facilitator of stakeholder engagement towards a sustainable post-2015 agenda that recognizes and includes volunteer work. This section is a common space for UNV, global and national ViOs and the Working Group.


Recognising the role of volunteers in achieving the Millennium Development Goals

500ways-logoVolunteering supports sustainable development in a variety of ways across continents and in a number of specialist functions. Volunteers and volunteer groups have made a very real, but too often invisible, contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

500ways.org is a joint initiative of the Australian Red Cross, AVI, CUSO, IAVE, UN Volunteers, VSA, VSO and World Teach which features a volunteer story every day throughout the last 500 days until the end date for the MDGs.

The experience gained in implementing the MDGs has taught us that in order to be sustainable, development cooperation must look beyond technical and financial assistance to people-centered approaches and solutions devised from the ground up. Volunteer groups are central to this approach.


Related news

22 Oct 2014:  Lima Declaration calls for Member States to recognize volunteerism in the post-2015 framework  08 Oct 2014: Good governance and international volunteering: a two-way street  |  29 Sep 2014: MY World awards recognize volunteers’ contribution to inclusive participation | 25 Sep 2014: Volunteerism needed to achieve sustainable development, says latest UN report on the post-2015 agenda | 19 Sep 2014: IAVE issues call to action to ensure that volunteering is seen as a strategic resource to achieve the SDGs  | 12 Sep 2014: United Nations high level leadership publicly acknowledge volunteers’ contribution to sustainable development | All related news

The full set of post-2015 related documents from VIOs is available under Resources - VIOs materials

Key documents

Open letter to Member States on volunteering and the SDGs

The Post-2015 Volunteering Working Group has circulated an open letter to UN Member States, which:

  • states that volunteering is a complementary means of implementation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that enhances the accountability of the new framework;
  • calls for the recognition of volunteer groups in development cooperation; and
  • advocates for the inclusion of participation and citizen-led engagement in the goal, target and indicator structure.

The Post-2015 Volunteering Working Group also proposed amendments to the OWG's Zero Draft of the SDGs, including a rationale and language additions to the draft targets, for Member States' consideration.

The letter, drafted by Forum, was signed by 29 international volunteer networks and national organizations. To sign the letter, please notify Mr Adjmal Dulloo (adjmal.dulloo@forum-ids.org)

Additional signatories to the letter as of 15 August 2014 include:

  • AFS Interkulturelle Begegnungen e.V. – Germany
  • ACDI/VOCA – USA
  • Global Vision International - Global
  • European Volunteer Centre (CEV) – Belgium
  • ICVolunteers – Switzerland
  • Innovations in Civic Participation – USA
  • Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) – Korea
  • Partners of the Americas – USA 
  • Plataforma Portuguesa das ONGD (Portuguese NGDO Platform) – Portugal
  • Service For Peace – USA
  • Seven Hills Global Outreach – USA
  • UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - Global
  • Volunteering New Zealand – NZ
  • World University of Canada – Canada
  • Youth Service America - USA