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Reference Guide on Volunteering Research

The first global Reference Guide on Volunteering Research is the result of a collaboration between the Red Cross and Red Crescent Research Consortium (RC3), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Global Volunteering Alliance, and Northumbria University’s Centre for Global Development. It was co-authored by Dr Bianca Fadel and PhD Candidate Louise Baumann (French Red Cross Foundation).

This sourcebook aims at strengthening the development of scientific and evidence-based volunteer management and development practices, particularly within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, and was conceived as a strategic 'gateway' to this area of study and practice. 

The first edition brings together 157 sources for academics, practitioners and volunteers to engage in reflections around their volunteer practices and strategies through facilitated access to leading research on volunteering. It includes resources in English, Spanish and French which are organised in relation to geographical regions (Global; Africa; Americas; Asia Pacific; Europe; Middle East and North Africa) and the following strategic thematic areas:

  • Profile and characteristics of volunteers: resources on who volunteers are and how volunteering happens across geographical areas and demographic factors.
  • Motivations of volunteers: resources on why individuals undertake volunteering, including motivations related to values, altruism, career-building, economic reasons and leisure.
  • Volunteering management and well-being: resources on management strategies and volunteering development approaches, including the well-being of volunteers.
  • Volunteering in crises and emergencies: resources on volunteer experiences in response to disasters, conflicts, epidemics and protracted crises, including spontaneous volunteering.
  • Volunteering economies, livelihoods and inequalities: resources on the unevenness of volunteering experiences, financial implications and impacts on citizenship and livelihoods.
  • New technologies and online volunteering: resources on digital experiences of volunteering and new technological tools, particularly emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sourcebook was launched during the 2023 "RC3 Long Night of Research" global event and it is openly accessible as a tool to broaden discussions on volunteering research and to promote critical thinking and continuous learning on the significance and complexity of volunteer practices and strategies. 

You can access the Reference Guide on Volunteering Research on the RC3 dedicated website.


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