The Global Standard for Volunteering for Development

The Global Standard for Volunteering for Development was created through a three-year collaborative process by the Forum Standards Working Group and launched at IVCO 2019. 

The Global Standard is the first of its kind, and will support organisations that work with volunteers to improve their practice and their impact. It is designed to ensure that all development programmes are designed in partnership with local communities so they respond to community needs, that all community members and volunteers are kept safe and free from harm, that the intended impact of programmes is identified before and tracked throughout, and that volunteers are fully prepared, trained and supported. 

The Standard is voluntary, and aims to improve the outcomes of volunteering for development activities, ensuring that organisations that work through and with volunteers are both impactful and responsible in their practice. 

Three years ago, the Forum Board identified the need for a global standard and launched a consultation process that drew on the voices of community representatives, volunteers, staff, hosting and sending organisations, government and others from over 80 countries. The Standard came about as a result of this global, multi-stakeholder consultation process, and it reflects the breadth and depth of the process. 

The Global Standard addresses four interconnected themes, which were prioritised by Forum Members during the consultation, these are: 

  • Designing and Delivering Projects
  • Duty of Care
  • Managing Volunteers
  • Measuring Impact

To download the Standard, please fill out this form – 


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Forum launched a pilot programme for the Global Standard in May 2020, which will run until the end of the year. 30 organisations will undertake a self-assessment based on the Standard, and will use the results of the self-assessment to develop action plans and improve their practice. The following organisations are taking part in the pilot:

A.V.E.S. (Association des Volontaires pour l’Environnement Sain) Togo
Adarsha Samajik Progoti Sangstha - ASPS Bangladesh
AKLHÜ e.V. - Netzwerk und Fachstelle für internationale personelle Zusammenarbeit/Network and Policy Association for International Personnel Cooperation Germany
Association JSA Togo
Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) Canada
Classrooms for Malawi UK
Consortium National pour le Participation Citoyenne (CNPC) Madagascar
Cuso International Canada
International Alliance for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) Various
Mission Des Jeunes Togo
Mngaro Mtaani Kenya
National Forum for Advocacy Nepal
PhilCV Philippines
Raleigh International UK
Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development Rwanda
Rwanda Volunteer Network Rwanda
Rwanda Youth Clubs for Peace Organization Rwanda
Singapore International Foundation (SIF) Singapore
Solidarité Union Cooperation (SUCO) Canada
Sudanese Red Crescent Society / IAVE Sudan
Svyam Bane Gopal India
The National Coalition of Volunteer Organizations for Sustainable Development / La Coalition Nationale des Organisations des Volontaires pour le Développement Durable (CNOVD) Republic of Congo
United Way Worldwide USA
Volunteer Involving Organisations' Network Sierra Leone (VIONet) Sierra Leone
Volunteer Involving Organizations Society, Kenya (Kenya VIO Society) Kenya
VSO Various
World University Service of Canada (WUSC)

Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa (YSS)/Student Volunteers Foundation



Zavod Voluntariat Slovenia
Zimbabwe Workcamps Association Zimbabwe

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