Read about the work and travel of VSA's staff.
Published on 22nd October 2014
Elizabeth Owens, Partnerships and Business Development Manager, blogs from Lima, Peru.
As a new member of the management team at VSA, I’m excited to be attending the IVCO conference in Lima.
IVCO is the International Forum for Volunteering in Development, and this year’s event is jointly hosted by the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI). There are over 200 people attending from all over the world, and it’s the first time it has been held in Latin America. This year the theme is about partnerships – fostering cross-sector collaborations towards sustainable development solutions, to be exact. I’ve been meeting representatives from public, private, academic and volunteer organisations.
One of the highlights for me today was a presentation by Mathieu Bouchard, summarising recent research findings on cross-sector collaborations. We had some good discussion about this and, for me, the following key points from Mathieu rang true:
These ideas were echoed later in the day in a speech by Patricia Fortier, the Canadian Ambassador for Peru and Bolivia. She commented, as someone who has worked with volunteer organisations in many countries, that the private sector is already very much part of the development sector. While government and business head offices tend to be based in large cities, volunteers are everywhere, including rural and remote areas. Volunteers provide keen insights; they offer on-the-ground knowledge and experience, and this can lead to better policy and better corporate decision making. Ambassador Fortier also mentioned the Canadian government’s $250 million commitment to their country’s flagship volunteer programmes – an inspiring recognition of the contribution made by volunteer organisations!