Volunteering and Inequality: A Joint Seminar by UN Volunteers and HDRO

The event will take place on 4th September 2019, 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM EDT, at 304 East 45th street, Doha room, 11th floor, New York, USA

Globally, one billion people are estimated to actively volunteer, making contributions worth 2.4% of global GDP. Evidence suggests that there is a strong relationship between volunteer work and inequality. In times of crisis, volunteerism is an important coping strategy for people on the margins of economic and social institutions, and in the absence of universal services and decent jobs. Yet volunteer work is not evenly distributed, and it mediated itself by inequalities.

In the run-up to the launch of the 2019 Human Development Report on inequalities, this seminar will bring together experts in inequality and volunteering to discuss evidence and strategies for ensuring volunteer efforts are able to challenge some of the most impactful inequalities affecting human development today.

The seminar will explore: (i) evidence from human development reports, State of the World’s Volunteerism reports and other materials; (ii) explore key relationships, drivers and entry points for effecting change by governments, volunteer institutions and others; and (iii) discuss the implications for the measurement of volunteer work and its contribution to human development.

The discussion will start with introductory remarks from UNV Chief, Ms. Emma Morley and HDRO Director, Mr. Pedro Conceição. This will be followed by a panel discussion with representatives from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Labor Organization, United Nations Regional Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean, and the World Bank. The seminar will end with a brief consultation on how to reimagine volunteering for the 2030 Agenda.

Relevant evidence and debates from this event will be used to feed into a global synthesis report and a global technical meeting on volunteerism, scheduled to take place at the High-Level Political Forum on the SDGs in New York in July 2020. A background paper and associated materials may also be published as part of the Human Development Report process.


Seminar Invitation
Concept Note