Action 4.3 – “Training on Cross Cultural Volunteering Impact”

The “Training on Cross-Cultural Volunteering Impact” took place in London, UK, from April 15 – 22, 2013 and aimed at training and empowering youth workers to support and carry out impact assessment by identifying and developing practical and easy to use research methodology that is best suited to test the impact of long-term international volunteering.

26 youth workers from Austria, Germany, France, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, UK and Switzerland participated in the impact training in London, United Kingdom.

The training commenced with a session on intercultural learning and the questioning of representation practices in general and in the mass media. It focused thereafter on the why and what of research and impact assessment, (re)defining volunteering and clearly outlining the need for impact assessment, leading to elaborating the key research aims, methods that can be used (qualitative and quantitative), research tools that already exist within ICYE and the participating host organisations, as well as identifying methods and tools that best suit the field of long-term international volunteering. As the last phase, participants developed methods (questionnaires for surveys and for focus groups) for testing impact of long-term international volunteering. These tools and methods were tested after the training by four organisations (Italy, Denmark, Austria and Finland) through sample assessments they undertook with long-term volunteers and host organisations in their respective countries. The training and overall project was guided by the research head of the Institute of Volunteering Research (IVR), UK.

In October 2013, the Steering Group of this project and one representative of each organisation conducting the sample assessment (from Austria Denmark, Finland and Italy) will meet for a final Evaluation Meeting in Helsinki, Finland, to examine the results of the training and sample assessments. A toolkit with guidelines and methods for impact assessment in the field of long-term international voluntary service will be developed and finalised during the Evaluation Meeting.