The Swedish Red Cross provides support in volunteering development to Partner National Societies, the ICRC as well as to the IFRC. There is a particular focus on volunteering in Conflicts and emergencies where safety and well-being are most challenging. The Swedish Red Cross has been working with safety and well-being for volunteers in the movement for many years.
What is Volunteering Development?
The key driver for Volunteering Development is Services to vulnerable people.
A volunteering development effort is a long-term investment and commitment for a National Society. It is about looking into all organisational levels and the current practice of the various programs and activities run by the society.
- It begins with analysing the current state of how the National Society organises, manages, and supports its volunteers.
- Taking the analysis into a process to put in place, improve or change the practice of organising, managing, leading, and supporting volunteers.
- An essential aspect is advocating for volunteering-enabling environments by heightening awareness of the importance of governmental support and funding for National Societies’ volunteering development efforts.
Volunteering in Conflicts and emergencies (ViCE)
Volunteers are key humanitarian actors in conflicts and emergencies. Around 15 millions of local Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers carry out local Movement activities. At least one million of these volunteers are active in volatile and dangerous situations. While these and other local volunteers are critical for humanitarian aid, they also ensure essential access to some of the hardest-to-reach areas. Reaching the most in need, these volunteers also experience this increasingly challenging. Organising volunteering in such situations is a demanding task for National Societies. We see examples from both Ukraine and Myanmar where volunteers end up in no man's land, behind enemy lines or in an area where the National Society does not have access. It is also because of situations like this and the role of volunteers in conflicts that cooperation with the ICRC is important.
Swedish Red Cross support in Volunteering Development
- Support is provided to National Societies to ensure a good voluntary focus in all program development as well as to advise on challenges and development gaps
- SRC is the driving force in the movement for Volunteering development for volunteering in conflicts and emergencies (VD4ViCE). The development of VD4ViCE takes place both locally in partner National Societies, as well as globally. This is done in collaboration with partners National associations, ICRC, IFRC Northumbria University through Volunteering Alliance.
- Global thematic project agreement on Strengthening National Societies’ Volunteering Development in protracted crisis and conflict with the ICRC
- Implement the guide on facilitating the security, safety and well-being of volunteers with the 13 standards in National Societies. The goal is that all National Societies have comprehensive functional mechanisms to ensure volunteers safety and security
- The SRC is committed to the Volunteering Alliance and leads the technical team that manages the safety and well-being of volunteers
- In collaboration with the Northumbria University, the ICRC and IFRC investigate trends in voluntarism as well as developments in the humanitarian field and propose developments to fill the gaps in the movement. Based on today's conflicts and voluntary patterns, this results in, for example, driving the development of local volunteering leadership
Example of SRC supported work in ViCE during 2022: Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Cameroon
The work with ViCE in Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Cameroon has been based on spreading knowledge about the 13 standards for well-being and safety for volunteers. This has happened both at branch and regional level as well as at the headquarters. The work is led by a delegate with expertise in, among other things, volunteer development and branch development who is staff on loan to the ICRC. There have been workshops and training for volunteers as Movement Induction, Safer Access Framework and the 13 standards. Outcomes:
- Volunteers reached directly through assessment and training in Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire: 166
- Volunteers reached indirectly through sharing copies of the standards in the 3 NSs: 760
- Total volunteers reached directly and indirectly: 926
The work with voluntary development is part of a larger package that, based on the level, is adapted, and based on workshops around the 13 standards. The standards are good in discovering the need for other development approaches and further development can take place through, for example, BOCA and Safer Access Framework. It has been a particular priority to work in Côte d'Ivoire's northern area bordering Burkina Faso. The implementation of 13 standards has also taken place at the policy and strategic level.
As ICRC's staff in western Africa have undergone training in methods around ViCE and 13 standards, several national associations in the area have development work such as Niger, Mali but also in the SRC collaboration countries Sudan, South Sudan and DR Congo.Uppdaterad .