As part of its application to the European Commission for the new operating grant, covering the period 1 April 2014 – 31 March 2018, Volonteurope proposed that one of its key work strands would be raising the standards of measuring the impact of volunteering in terms of social value. This work strand began with creating a European working group, which includes Volonteurope members, partners and experts. Bernard Enjolras and Signe Bock-Segaard have been invited to participate in the working group as representatives of the TSI project.

So far the group has discussed possible objectives and outcomes of the work. These included creating an open platform where volunteer organisations and volunteers can share their experiences and best practices, and using this platform to develop some common objectives and conducting a literature review on existing approaches, research, toolkits and platforms organised according to topic in order to identify gaps that need to be filled.

Building on research conducted by Bernard Enjolras Volonteurope and TSI want to engage in awareness raising and dissemination activities within participants’ organisations and networks using workshops. Activities are targeted at decision makers and practitioners, they will identify what can and cannot be measured. More precisely the working group will look at wider impact: How to measure impact on community, policy or country? How to use impact measurement to inform practice: How does civil society deal with negative impact? How can civil society incorporate learning into its work? How can it do this more democratically? Link to ‘learning organisations’ discussion.

The result of this cooperation will be a toolkit for measuring impact, including

  • A set of common and highly adaptable principles that could be used to measure different kinds and levels of impact across different countries and sectors
  • Document on professional standards
  • Practical guide to measuring impact, with an idea of the common outcomes that we are trying to achieve through volunteering

TSI might test some of the methodological tools elaborated by the project.

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