Below the waterline of public visibility: report of a round table on volunteerism and social development

Document type
Darcy D’Oliveira, Miguel; Leigh, Robert; Campanaro, Richard
Date of publication
1 April 2001
Voluntary Action: the journal of the Institute for Volunteering Research. Vol. 3; Number 2
Social welfare
Material type

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This article is based on the proceedings of a round table discussion organised by United Nations Volunteers to look at how volunteering can contribute to social development. It begins by showing that volunteering is important to social policy because it builds social capital – the trust and ‘connectedness’ that strengthen the fabric of society and can serve to reconcile divided communities. But volunteers can in no sense replace the services provided by government; they work in partnership with the state, adding value to statutory provision. Governments can maximise the contribution volunteers make to society by creating an enabling fiscal and legislative framework, by supporting an effective infrastructure for volunteering and by disseminating information.

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