People around the world take action through volunteering which is increasingly becoming a transformative cross-cutting means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Globally, there is lack of availability of data that captures the unique contributions made by volunteering, including the impact and scale it has. This makes it harder at national levels to make the case for integrating volunteering into broader strategies.

Volunteering could have a far bigger impact if its full potential was supported by structures, systems and partnerships that recognize and flexibly respond to its complex, shifting characteristics and holistic contributions. Knowledge and data presented below offers insights for policymakers and development practitioners on the evolving nature of volunteering for the Decade of Action and calls for more integration of diverse forms of volunteering into national, regional and global development strategies and plans.

Volunteerism is a powerful force, and an important part of the fabric of society. Globally, it remains an important vehicle for shaping and advancing development. Its potential to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development that delivers to all is, however, yet to be realized. As countries and regions grapple with enormous challenges, one thing is clear: no single stakeholder, entity or sector can address these challenges alone. Now more than ever, partnerships are vitally important. The fourth State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) report, titled Building Equal and Inclusive Societies, shows that the ways in which volunteers and state authorities interact, collaborate and partner are vital for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Visit the UNV Knowledge Portal to browse through the datasets on the measurement of volunteer work, as well as national laws and policies on volunteering, and review integration of volunteerism into Voluntary National Review Reports.

Volunteering and the SDGs: What your voices tell us

Global Perceptions of Volunteering and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

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Measuring Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda: Toolbox of Principles, Tools and Practices

Guidance on implementing the ILO-recommended add-on module on volunteer work in national labour force surveys

Promoting gender equality through volunteering in national or subnational policies and frameworks

From care to where? Understanding volunteerism in the Global South

Global Synthesis Report: Plan of Action to Integrate Volunteering into the 2030 Agenda

Volunteering Practices in the 21st Century