A new community began to take shape last week when European labour statistics officials and civil society leaders met on 28-29 September in Warsaw for a technical workshop hosted by the ILO, the European Volunteer Measurement Project (EVMP), and the Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The aim of the workshop was to connect statistics offices with civil society, to provide them with training in the ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work approach, and to discuss the possibility for the implementation of the ILO Manual in these countries.
Participants reviewed the definition of volunteering provided in the ILO Manual and discussed how to safe-guard the unity of the method and the comparability of data, while respecting the significant cultural differences among countries. In addition, target variables, the survey module, classification systems, and data reporting tables were analysed in technical detail. Adriana Mata, the ILO’s focal point for the Manual, provided clarifications on technical points and on certain global perspectives of the measurement of volunteering.
The workshop also provided the opportunity to hear from Poland’s Central Statistical Office, which pioneered this effort in Europe, and is preparing to release the final results at the closing conference for the European Year of Volunteering announced for 1-2 December in Warsaw. CSO officials offered a number of lessons learned for their colleagues including ensuring proper training and motivation for the interviewers, avoiding use of proxy response, using ICNPO to classify the fields of work, carefully considering the timing of the implementation in relation to other modules, and avoiding use of the sub-sample of persons rotating out of the LFS.
The workshop further highlighted some of the EVMP’s successes:
In the end, perhaps the most important outcome from this workshop was the formation of a nascent community of statistical officials and civil society partners working together to ensure that this vital resource is measured and allowed to blossom, and that will continue to grow as more countries join in the effort. The group agreed to keep in touch in order to communicate with other each other on issues pertaining to testing and implementation of the module, to continue to share technical resources and lessons from implementation, and to pool the results through EVMP in order to build a sustainable and comparable source of information on the scope and nature of volunteering. To that end, the EVMP partners agreed to maintain a technical section of the EVMP website to facilitate this kind of information sharing.
Download the meeting report and participants list.
cross-posted from evmp.eu