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Oct 30 • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Volunteering and resilience in humanitarian and development settings

Alumni Center

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Local volunteers play critically important roles in humanitarian crises and international development activity. They are essential to the delivery of humanitarian aid and often central to efforts to foster resilience in the face of crises and shocks. They are also increasingly identified with ensuring the local ownership and sustainability of development efforts, particularly in the context of delivering the Sustainable Development Goals. Despite this, research on volunteering is dominated by the activities of international volunteers, or emerges from the experiences of volunteers in the global North. Matt Baillie Smith will discuss how volunteering research at the Centre for International Development at Northumbria University is developing new understandings of the ways volunteers contribute to resilience in humanitarian and development settings. Drawing on a large collaborative project with the Swedish Red Cross on Volunteers in Conflicts and Emergencies, Professor Baillie Smith will suggest that the emphasis on the contribution of volunteers to building community resilience fails to pay attention to the resilience of volunteers themselves. His talk will also explore what some of the challenges are in doing this across humanitarian and development settings.

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