WSIS Volunteer Family, Phase 1 Report
Recommendation 1: Event calendar
Develop an event calendar, in which Volunteering and ICTs can further be discussed. International events that have already been identified include:
In addition, the organization of regional events should be considered to mobilize local and national networks around the world. Information portals such as www.worldwidevolunteer.org, www.worldvolunteerweb.org should be used to disseminate the results of such events as well as network organizations such as IAVE, CIVICUS and CEV.
Recommendation 2: Presence at WSIS meetings and language in official documents
For the upcoming PrepComs of the WSIS phase 2, a larger Volunteer Family team should be mobilized to make sure that volunteerism is included in future official documents. It should be emphasized that volunteers are not solely a helping force, working on the operational level, but also have a role to play at the mezzo (policy) and macro (governance) levels. In order to mobilize this mezzo and macro force, organizations such as IAVE, CIVICUS and CEV can play key roles. Not only can they aim to influence UN and European policy agendas, but they can inform and mobilize their respective networks.
In addition to the mailing list information dissemination, it could be useful for the Working Group on Volunteering and ICTs to confer through virtual meetings on a regular basis.
Recommendation 3: Projects
An inventory of ICT-Volunteer projects was made in phase 1 of the WSIS. New projects have been launched since, in accordance with the Volunteering Action Plan. It should be considered how the volunteer sector can best prepare for its presence throughout phase 2 of the WSIS, and in particular for Tunis 2005. The Working Group on Volunteering and ICTs should play a key role in this regard.
Recommendation 4: Research
A research group has been created. It will study the impact of volunteers in helping to reduce the digital divide. Other areas of research linked to ICTs may be identified, for example along the lines of a proposal made by the Institute for Volunteering Research on Online Volunteering. This proposes to "map" both the extent and nature of "virtual" volunteering.
Recommendation 5: Web resource
The online library on volunteering and ICTs (www.worldwidevolunteer.org) should be further developed to accommodate interactive elements and allow volunteer organizations to actively participate in its updating. The network of interlinked sites containing information about volunteerism and ICTs should further be enhanced as a group of web sites, including in particular the sites of UniteS (www.unites.org), European Volunteer Center (CEV) (www.cev.be), and World Volunteer Web (www.worldvolunteerweb.org) web sites.
In addition to the information dissemination by mailing list, it would be useful that the working group on volunteering and ICTs regularly organizes online meetings to establish an interactive exchange.
Recommendation 6: Mobilization of financial resources
The mobilization of financial resources is key. Volunteer organizations should partner and partner with other sectors to mobilize these.
Recommendation 7: Networking
Links between the volunteer movement and other actors working on a voluntary basis should be strengthened (e.g. open source software developers). In addition, links between the volunteer sector and other actors of the information society should be strengthened, in particular governments, the private and the academic sectors, and civil society at large.