Volunteering Action Plan 2003-2005
The extended process of involvement by the Volunteer Family dating back to the Bamako Regional Conference in May 2002, has led us, as a Volunteer Family, to create a Volunteering Action Plan identifying a range of priorities to be implemented between now and Tunis 2005.
These focus on the role of Volunteering in capacity building as recognized in the WSIS Plan of Action document. We consider them to be important contributions to the successful implementation of the Summit's Plan.
The Volunteering Action Plan 2003-2005 contains points related to both sides of the ICT-Volunteering relationship.
First, on how Volunteering can help to expand the use of ICT for Human Development.
At the operational level, we propose:
- Support and promotion of the role of volunteers for local content generation;
- Mechanisms to make free/open source software -itself a product of volunteer work- applicable to development needs where suitable;
- Widespread involvement of volunteers in community telecenters, both locally and internationally;
- Support for national and international university volunteer networks in ICT for Development;
- ICT Volunteering contributions to programmes that combat HIV/AIDS;
- ICT Volunteering initiatives for digital inclusion of people with disabilities and homebound people;
ICT support for volunteers in natural disaster situations;
- Volunteer involvement in ICT initiatives aimed at creating opportunities and at providing information in refugee camps.
As policy issues, we have identified the need to:
- Establish and promote national and international online volunteering services;
- Raise awareness of the contributions that ICT volunteering brings to development;
- Support diaspora volunteer networks in ICT for development;
- Promote corporate volunteering initiatives in ICT for development;
- Recognize ICT Volunteering as one factor in mainstreaming ICT in development processes;
- Implement a calendar of events and meetings to extend collaboration among volunteer organizations and other actors.
Secondly, on how ICT can be used by Volunteers and Volunteer Organizations:
- Define and promote groupware systems and tools that will help volunteers and volunteer organizations to access valuable information resources and better communicate. One use will be to establish an e-Forum for the WSIS Volunteering Working Group during the period running up to 2005;
- Create a "map" or catalog of ICT Volunteering involvement;
- Harness the power of ICT for marketing, awareness raising and advocacy purposes;
- Adapt the accessibility of ICT to facilitate the involvement of people with disabilities to volunteer.
The Summit process has been an encouraging beginning, but we need to further strengthen cooperation between the volunteer sector, governments, academia, the private sector, and other civil society organizations. We look forward to joint action which will enable us to expand the power of solidarity that is inherent to volunteerism.
Presented in the Government Plenary of the WSIS on 12 December 2003.