The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015 launched in Mongolia

Jan 27, 2016

Mongolian version of the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) 2015 from the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme was launched. The Report was translated into Mongolian by UNV Mongolia in collaboration with Online Volunteers in Mongolia.

Launched globally in June 2015, the SWVR 2015 is the first global review of evidence around the contribution of volunteers to better governance, a pre-requisite for the success of the new Sustainable Development Goals agreed at the United Nations in September 2015.

Volunteers are playing a vital role in making governments worldwide more accountable and responsive to their citizens, but their potential is seriously under-valued, the Report says.

Drawing on evidence from countries as diverse as Brazil, Kenya, Lebanon and Bangladesh, the SWVR 2015 shows how ordinary people are volunteering their time, energies and skills to improve the way they are governed and engaged at local, national and global levels.

Mongolia also holds ample examples of volunteers who have supported inclusive voice and participation in the society, not included in the State of World’s Volunteerism Report 2015 though. Through the “My World Survey” in the lead up to formulating the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, more than 5,000 Mongolians had their voice heard globally through. Collecting feedback from Mongolians in remote areas was possible with support of volunteers from the UN Youth Advisory Panel of Mongolia.

UNFPA’s Orange Session is another good example, which advocates ending violence against women, with support from young and talented musicians of Mongolia. The Social Good Summit 2015 which launched the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Mongolia would not have been possible without the support and engagement of youth volunteers.

Volunteers are working with governments and civil society to hold those in power to account, to influence policies and laws and to represent the voices of those who are often left out of development decisions such as women, youth and marginalised groups. The end result, the Report says, is more inclusive - and ultimately more effective - development.

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015 says there is widespread agreement that future development efforts will have to include radically different approaches in order to better engage people in their own, their communities’ and their countries’ development.

While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed by governments in 2000, successfully galvanised people around clearly articulated targets, they have fallen short of their ambition in some issues and in some countries because countries’ development efforts have not sufficiently reflected the needs of all citizens, the Report says.

The new Sustainable Development Goals will only succeed if they include the voices of all people, and look into ways to engage communities more effectively, including through the power of volunteers and volunteering.

Speaking at the launch of the Report in Mongolian version, UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Beate Trankmann said: “Many perceive governance as an issue which needs to be dealt at the political level. However, it concerns every person in all parts of the society. It is about enhancing voice and participation of all citizens as well as accountability and responsiveness of the government institutions”. She also highly praised the Online Volunteers in Mongolia who supported the translation of the Report, mentioning that “This is a clear demonstration of how the collaborative efforts among dedicated volunteers in Mongolia can contribute to development. This Mongolian version is the first full translation of the Report in a non-UN official language. Making such a report available in the local language really helps in getting the most of it”.

The Report key findings and recommendations were explained by the UNV Regional Manager for Asia Pacific, Ms. Manon Bernier.

Recommended steps include:

• Engaging more volunteers in the process of crafting policies and putting them into action

• Integrating volunteers formally into national development frameworks and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) strategies

• Engaging more volunteer women, youth and marginalised groups in local and national decision making

In 2015, Mongolia has garnered good attention on issues surrounding volunteerism, including but not limited to youth engagement, disaster management and sustainable development. Various open dialogues shed light on the important role of volunteerism in the development of Mongolia and people’s voice and participation over the course. It was also reaffirmed the necessity and benefits of fostering enabling environment for volunteerism, such as introducing the law on volunteerism, policy and volunteer programmes in Mongolia. Building on the achievements made so far, the momentum should be kept to promote volunteerism in Mongolia in coming years. UNV Mongolia will continue to support the efforts in 2016, by supporting inclusive participation and voices of all partners.    

About the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. UNV is active in around 130 countries every year. UNV, with Field Units in 86 countries, is represented worldwide through the offices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and reports to the UNDP Executive Board.

For more information go to www.mn.undp.org and follow us on Facebook: /UNVolunteersMongolia.

The Report in Mongolian can be found at http://www.mn.undp.org/content/mongolia/en/home/presscenter/articles/2016/01/27/the-state-of-the-world-s-volunteerism-report-2015-to-be-launched-in-mongolia.html.

The Report in English can be found at www.volunteeractioncounts/SWVR2015.

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