The Evolution of International Volunteering

This paper reviews the historical evolution of international volunteering from the early-mid 20th century and the important coordinating and facilitating role played by international voluntary service networks. It also examines changes in international volunteer cooperation practices, including policy and funding priorities, the scale and size of IVCOs, international volunteer placements and demographics, and the management and evaluation of volunteer programs. It concludes that new models of service in the 21st century embodying principles of equity, reciprocity, shared learning and mutual benefit provide opportunity to further progress international volunteers’ contributions to peace and sustainable development.

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