New ways of volunteering: challenges and opportunities : a working paper and toolbox for care and support for spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers

Adjmal Dulloo, Andreas Loepsinger, Chaim Rafalowski, Daniel Auferbauer, Itamar Laist, Louise Juul Hansen , Maria Isabel de Silva, Martha Bird, Massimo Lanfranc, Nathalie Rigall, Nina Baron, Serena Tagliacozzo, Todor Tagarev (Redaktør), Nana Wiedemann (Redaktør)

Publikation: Bog/antologi/rapport/Ph.d. afhandlingRapportForskningpeer review

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Communities have always come together to help each other out in times of crisis. But as crisis management has become increasingly organized, professionalised and regulated, less room has been left for spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers. Recent years have seen a shift in the way many people volunteer. They are less loyal to established organizations and more driven by causes and events. As regards their affiliation, these spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers are on the ground experiencing and reacting to a crisis. This represents challenges and opportunities for crisis management organizations, which must address these new ways of volunteering.
Spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers are often exposed to the same stressors as affiliated volunteers and professional staff. But there are also stressors specifically related to not being affiliated with an organization: lack of training, not being familiar with command structures, not being part of an established team, unclear expectations and roles to name but a few.
Some guidelines on working with spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers in crisis management exist, but for the most part they completely neglect the aspect of providing support and care to the spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers, or only do so in the most rudimentary way.
This working paper is a collective effort of a diverse group of professionals and volunteers to pull together the most salient issues in care and support for spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers. The hope is that the knowledge, thought leadership, practical tools, case examples and recommendations collected here will contribute to supporting both crisis managers, policy makers and practitioners to provide good care and support for spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers.
The single most important point made in this working paper is that it is imperative that crisis management fulfils its duty of care towards spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers. What this looks like in practice will differ significantly from one organization to another, from country to country and from community to community. But the spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers are always there. The care and support they need is often not.
This working paper suggests a common description of the spontaneous unaffiliated volunteer as well as a framework along four dimensions to guide the development of local understandings and definitions of spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers.
It presents the key global policy and practice frameworks for support and care for volunteers and makes specific recommendations for care and support for spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers.
Operational considerations for care and support for spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers are discussed and concrete recommendations for supporting spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers before, during and after events are presented.
Digital volunteers and care and support for this new and growing group is explored in depth. The need for care and support is high, and at the same time providing care and support is particularly challenging, both practically and conceptually.
In depth case examples, recommendations, suggestions for ways forward, practical tools and summaries of guidelines are presented throughout.
ForlagInternational Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Antal sider62
StatusUdgivet - 2020


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