Copy • August 2013

Welcome to the second edition of Forum’s e-newsletter! The first edition shared in June was well received - thank you to those members who shared their positive feedback. We hope that the Forum e-newsletter will be a useful tool for updates from the Board and for sharing among Forum members throughout the year.

Updates from the Board

“The UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)” has been defined as the space where the further global conversations on sustainable development will be taking place. In the resolution text for HLPF which was agreed upon in the UN in June this year, volunteer groups are now recognised as relevant stakeholders! (You will find the full text here:
This is something which Forum has been advocating, including through the “Forum Ottawa Declaration” which was developed at IVCO 2012. The recognition of volunteer groups as relevant stakeholders means that volunteer groups will now have access to official information, documents and meetings of the HLPF, the opportunity to intervene and submit documents, make recommendations and organise side-events in cooperation with the UN secretariat and member states.
Congratulations to all the Forum members and partners who have been working nationally and/or regionally to promote volunteering in the post-2015 development agenda. Alongside the efforts of a number of our peer volunteer involving groups, Forum’s work has borne fruit. A special thanks to UNV, our Forum member who have been tirelessly monitoring the global processes related to post-2015 and Rio+20 in order to promote volunteer voice and visibility.
Now we have an even stronger platform to promote the global movement of volunteers working for a just world, and to make visible their role post-2015. It is up to us all now to define strong steps – individually and collectively – to continue championing volunteering in the future sustainable development goals. IVCO 2013 in Paris will be an important space for us to plan common actions towards this goal.


IVCO 2013 is shaping up to be an exciting event with representation from around 20 countries involving approximately 80 heads of agencies, state bodies and NGOs. The theme of the conference, relevant to the current global context season, is PEOPLE to PEOPLE: volunteering as a catalyst for post-2015 development policy and practice.
Focused on the added-value of people-to-people exchanges – the contribution of international volunteering on civic participation and impacts on development outcomes, the conference will contribute to shaping and influencing global and national development policies and practice. We encourage all members to register for IVCO 2013 by following the link:
IVCO 2013, hosted by France Volontaires will be held in Paris 27th – 30th October. We hope to see you there!

Member News

Comhlámh have kindly prepared an article specifically to share the experience of returned volunteers in Ireland with members via the Forum e-newsletter.  We encourage all members to utilise this space for sharing experience, learnings and good practice in international volunteering for development.
Back to the Future: returned volunteers as multipliers for development education
‘One’s destination is not a place, but a new way of seeing things’ (Henry Miller)

This article seeks to explore how to engage overseas volunteers on their return as multipliers for development education, based on the learning from a recent EU-funded project, ‘Back to the Future’, which is being delivered by three European partners: finep (Germany); SWM (Poland); and Comhlámh (Ireland). It is written from the perspective of Comhlámh and the particular experience of returned volunteers to Ireland, but draws on learning from the wider project, including the other partner countries. The article discusses the experience of coming home from an overseas volunteer placement, and focuses on three specific initiatives developed by Comhlámh as part of the “Back to the Future” project, all of which supporting the continuous engagement of volunteers. It concludes with some guidelines for volunteer sending agencies, and provides information about where to access other resources... read more »


Some new member publications have been added to Forum’s website since the last newsletter including:
UNV Programme Strategy Overview: Volunteerism for Peace and Development, United Nations Volunteers
What next: A Toolkit for Returned Volunteers, Comhlámh
The coming Home Book: For Returned Overseas Volunteers, Development Workers, Humanitarian Workers and Missionaries, Comhlámh
Please send member research (past and present) to

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