Comhlámh are currently carrying out a survey of volunteer sending agencies in Ireland building on previous research commissioned in 2012.
The purpose of the annual survey is to collect comparable data each and every year on overseas volunteering to build a sound evidence base and discover trends in overseas volunteering from Ireland.
Last year by examining data from 2012 submitted from volunteer sending across across Ireland we learnt that the VSAs surveyed placed 2,120 volunteers in positions overseas in 2012. Approximately 50% of the volunteers were aged between 18 and 30 and they were mainly employed (44%) or students (40%).
Almost half (46%) of all overseas placements from Ireland in 2012 were in Africa and a large majority (92%) volunteered overseas for up to 3 months, with just over 70% of these spending up to one month in a placement abroad. Using the information gathered last year estimations on the socio-economic contribution of volunteers in relation to Irish GDP were possible. You can read the research based on last year’s survey here: http://issuu.com/comhlamh/docs/new-evidence-on-overseas-volunteeri
This year the focus is again on collecting demographic data on volunteers from Ireland, understanding organisational structures in the sector and any identifying possible barriers for volunteers. Comhlámh will publish a report based on the anonymised data from the survey later in 2014 hopes that volunteer sending agencies, Irish Aid and domestic volunteer organisations will find the outcomes of the research to be of interest and of use in their own work.
For more information or to participate in the survey please contact Sioban O’Brien Green, Comhlámh’s Research and Policy Officer by email at [email protected]