The Power of Volunteers for Development, from Seoul to Kathmandu

Building Bridges Coalition Uncategorized

On the heels of the U.N.’s adoption in late September of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, an Asia Pacific volunteering alliance recently convened a forum for hundreds of youth and development partners from northeast Asia at the Korea Council on Foreign Relations in Seoul. In his keynote address highlighting the role of volunteers in global development, Young-Mok Kim, president of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), stressed the key role of Peace Corps volunteers and the Saemaul Undong village self-help model in Korea’s 50-year rise from a low-income to a high-income nation. Since 1970, Korea’s Saemaul Undong (“New …

The Role of Volunteering in Sunstainable Development

The Role of Volunteering in Sustainable Development

Building Bridges Coalition Uncategorized

This report shares findings from the global action research project by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). The report explores how and why volunteering contributes to poverty reduction and sustainable positive change, and the factors which strengthen and prevent it from doing so. It looks at both the intended and unintended impacts of volunteering interventions. The research was conducted over a two-year period (2012–2014) in four countries: Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal and The Philippines. Led by four VSO volunteer researchers and drawing on participatory action research methodologies, the research engaged more than 3,700 people. The final …

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The Tokyo Call to Action

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Representatives of international volunteer cooperation organizations from around the world gathered in Tokyo October 4th–7th 2015 for the annual meeting of the International Forum for Volunteering in Development. BBC board member Ben Lough represented BBC at this conference. This year’s conference aligned with the world’s adoption of the new development agenda and the 17 UN sustainable development goals, and concluded with a Call to Action committing participating organizations to support efforts to achieve the goals through action at local, national and global levels. We invite you to join with the other international volunteer cooperation organizations who have signed this Call to …

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The Evolution of International Volunteering

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The United Nations Volunteers program convened its “International Volunteer Service Exchange Conference” in Beijing on 12-13 October 2015.  BBC Board member Benjamin J. Lough was commissioned by UNV to present a paper on “The Evolution of International Volunteering”.  His paper examines the evolution of government-supported international volunteer cooperation organizations (IVCOs) from the UN’s First Development Decade (the 1960s) to the adoption in 2015 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The paper can be read and downloaded here.

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Sustainable development needs organized volunteers

Building Bridges Coalition Uncategorized

Last week, world leaders agreed on an ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. Fully costed, the price tag for achieving these goals over the next 15 years will run into the trillions of dollar, however. The implication is that everyone in the world will have to contribute in one way or another—private businesses as well public sector agencies. Volunteers seem to be the least recognized group of contributors, despite being the least-expensive component. They often play a crucial role in “the last mile” of program implementation. Volunteer service in support of the SDGs also enriches the lives …

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International Volunteering Cooperation Organizations (IVCO) in Tokyo, October 4 – 7

Building Bridges Coalition Uncategorized

The annual conference for International Volunteering Cooperation Organizations (IVCO) will take place this year in Tokyo on October 4- 7. It is hosted by the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). These conferences bring together leaders of international volunteering agencies from around the globe to discuss the challenges and opportunities currently facing international volunteering. With the UN Sustainable Development Goals announced on September 25, 2015, the theme for this year’s IVCO Conference is “Volunteering for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): New Goals, Models, and Tools”. One of the outcomes from this conference …



Building Bridges Coalition Uncategorized

Before the end of September, the United Nations will adopt 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 to address the global challenges of poverty and climate change.  The Building Bridges Coalition is uniquely positioned to give voice and marshal research and partnerships support to achieve the SDGs. In June 2016, BBC will celebrate celebrate its 10th anniversary with a policy-oriented international conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.   We welcome suggestions for making this forum useful to all BBC members and for helping to spotlight international service options for the next President of the United States. The re-energized …