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State of the World's Volunteerism Report 2015

Transforming Governance

image of State of the World's Volunteerism Report 2015

In most societies, millions of people make significant contributions to economic and social development through voluntary action. This report supports a better understanding of volunteerism by exhibiting its universality, scope and reach, and by highlighting new trends in the 21st century. It examines the important contributions in diverse fields such as enhanced livelihoods, social inclusion, social cohesion, disaster risk reduction, governance and political participation. This publication also provides an alternative vision towards a better society. It is expected to lead to enhanced recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteerism worldwide and to an increased recognition of United Nations Volunteers' critical role in peace and development as well as in norm-setting in the United Nations System.

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Executive summary

There is widespread agreement that the future development agenda has to see some radical shifts to better engage people in their own, their community’s and country’s development. Enhanced mechanisms for civic engagement are needed to enable new discussions, negotiations and decisions. This report shows, using a body of knowledge collected through case studies, that volunteerism provides a key channel for this engagement from the local through to the national and global contexts. As local to global levels become more linked through new governance actors, so too volunteerism is adapting and changing; active and global citizens are already engaged in different ways, at different levels, to address core traditional and emerging governance issues.

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