29 October 2019

Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) - Te Tūao Tāwāhi  has had significant input in developing a newly launched set of global standards for volunteering for development. The standards have been agreed by several hundred stakeholders from across the international volunteering for development sector.

Chief Executive, Stephen Goodman, has been co-chair of an international team that developed the first ever set of global standards for the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum).

The voluntary Global Standard for Volunteering for Development will ensure more responsible and impactful volunteering, and will help organisations contribute positively to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Standard aims to improve the outcomes of volunteering for development activities, ensuring organisations that work through and with volunteers are both impactful and responsible in their practice.

The standards took 18 months to develop and were formally launched on 28 October 2019 at the Forum’s International Volunteer Cooperation Organisation (IVCO) Conference in Rwanda. Mr Goodman also signed VSA’s commitment to achieving the standards during the conference.

“The standards outline the base-level expectations for organisations working in our sector,” said Mr Goodman. “There are more than 81 organisations in the Forum with over 10,000 volunteers in 124 countries.

“For VSA, these standards sit alongside and complement our commitment to the CID Code of Conduct which remains VSA’s primary accreditation. The standards provide VSA with further validation of our policies and practices.

“The standards are a resource that can be used by any organisation working in the volunteering and development sectors, providing standards that will strengthen outcomes and provide care and protection for volunteers and the people and communities they work with.”

Volunteering organisations will be encouraged to sign up to the commitments of the Standard to demonstrate to volunteers, partner organisations, donors and governments that their programmes align with good development practices and the SDGs.

The International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) is a global network of organisations involved in international volunteering which promotes the value of volunteering for development through policy engagement, mutual learning and by sharing innovative and good practices. The forum has 28 members in more than 81 organisations with over 10,000 volunteers in 124 countries.

To download the Forum's Global Standard for Volunteering for Development, click here

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Stephen Goodman, VSA's Chief Executive, signing the Kigali Declaration committing to the new Forum Standards.