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Volunteering infrastructure and quality of volunteering

Public Hearing - Brussels, Belgium

The hearing "Volunteering infrastructure and quality of volunteering" is organised in the framework of the EESC Coordination Group on the European Year of Volunteering 2011, chaired by Mr Pavel Trantina.

Date: 23 May 2011 (9.00 - 13.00)
Venue: EESC, 99, rue Belliard, 1040 Brussels, room VM1


The following aspects will be discussed:

Quality of Volunteering

  1. What do we mean by quality volunteering activities?
  2. Why is quality important?
  3. Development of principles that should be respected and granted to any volunteer in Europe, accepting the diversity of volunteers and volunteering.
  4. Discussion and formulation of definitions of the rights and obligations of volunteers towards volunteer organisations.
  5. Clarification of the responsibility of volunteer-involving organisations towards volunteers to ensure quality volunteering experiences (with regards to the recruitment process, management, retention, training and educational support, sustainable follow up and social inclusion dimension).
  6. Ensuring quality volunteering for all: identifying barriers within volunteer organisations to engage diverse groups such as people with disabilities, those from migrant backgrounds and ethnic minority groups, those who may have been or are mental health service users, and ex-offenders and formulate proposals for overcoming these barriers.
  7. Definition of roles and responsibilities of relevant authorities in supporting volunteer-involving organisations, to ensure quality volunteering through, for example, A commitment to sustainable funding and diversity, ongoing impact assessment, consultation of organisations, transparent information management.
  8. Development of permanent forums and partnerships involving diverse stakeholders of the volunteering sector in order to allow exchange and ensure sustainable improvement of the quality of volunteering; associate forums with decision-making processes relevant to voluntary activities in order to ensure quality of governance in this respect.
  9. Identifying the most effective methods and tools to assess quality volunteering and how can these be shared across Europe.

Volunteering Infrastructure

  1. Definition: What do we mean when talking about the volunteering infrastructure?
  2. Reasoning: Why is volunteering infrastructure important? And what is its role?
  3. Elements: What are the basic features and elements of a volunteering infrastructure?
  4. Actors mapping: Who are the different actors involved in building an enabling volunteering infrastructure and what are / should their roles be?
  5. Evidence: How to define the effectiveness of a volunteering infrastructure? What does it look like in different countries – and what should it look like?
  6. What is essential in making a volunteering infrastructure efficient and enabling the development of volunteering?