Forum and UNV sign Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their collaboration on volunteering in development  

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by Heather Shapter, Chair of the Forum Board and Toily Kurbanov, UNV Executive Coordinator to solidify the longstanding partnership between the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) and The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme.  

Forum is delighted to share the news that we have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNV. This agreement will provide a framework for collaboration between our two organisations and enable us to better support, promote, and advocate at a global level for volunteering in development and its importance in delivering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

‘Forum and UNV share a common purpose, and both organisations recognise the importance of responsible, impactful volunteering in delivering the SDGs. This new agreement sets out a new phase in our collaboration with UNV in which we will launch new research and new conversations on volunteering, and promote the voices of volunteers. We look forward to working closely with our colleagues in UNV in this exciting new phase’ says Heather Shapter, Chair of the Forum Board 

In practical terms, this agreement will facilitate collaboration between Forum and UNV to share evidence, research and good practices on volunteering in development. We will share knowledge on each other’s platforms, including UNV’s Knowledge Portal and Forum’s Research Centre and Resource Library. Our aim in this is to reach a wider audience for both Forum and UNV knowledge products, and provide a greater promotion and uptake of these resources. 

Our two organisations will also work together to host events to highlight the contribution of volunteering to the SDGs, and to promote research and knowledge in areas of common interest. This will contribute to an improved understanding of the contribution of volunteering to the SDGs, solutions to challenges facing our sector, and will connect people and organisations in our networks. 

In this agreement, we also make a commitment to work closely to ensure that the voices of volunteers, especially volunteers from less represented backgrounds, are heard at strategic events like the UN’s High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the ECOSOC Youth Forum.  

Last but not least, Forum and UNV will engage in joint research initiatives, and work together to identify and fill gaps in our collective knowledge of volunteering in development.  

‘UNV looks forward to expanding our collective knowledge of volunteering. We partner to advocate for volunteering as part of global peace, development, and humanitarian solutions,” says Toily Kurbanov, UNV Executive Coordinator.’ 

As well as the MoU, we have agreed to an action plan with UNV, and we will check in regularly to keep each other informed of, and consult on, matters of common interest and new opportunities for collaboration.  

We look forward to the next stage in our partnership, and to working together with our colleagues in the UNV Team to put these plans into action.  

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. We work with partners to integrate qualified, highly motivated and well supported UN Volunteers into development programming and promote the value and global recognition of volunteerism. 

The International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) is the most significant global network of organisations that work with volunteers to achieve sustainable development goals. Forum exists to share information, develop good practice and enhance cooperation across the volunteering in development sector. We achieve this through convening, research, and standards. 


Pictured: UN Volunteers Aminata Diouf and Moustapha Dia contribute to “The Mural” at the 2022 IVCO Conference in Dakar. Participants were asked to identify a word, phrase, statement, or symbol that reflects volunteering. UN Volunteers point to the UNV slogan “INSPIRATION IN ACTION.” Copyright: UNV, 2022 

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