Integrating volunteering cultures in New Zealand’s multi-hazard environment
Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, 2020.
“This research explores different approaches to support informal volunteering and how it contributes to rural communities in New Zealand. In doing so, the practical aspects are considered to integrate informal and formal volunteers and to identify lessons for inclusion. The paper, more specifically, examines how informal volunteer activities could contribute more to rural community resilience before, during, and after emergency events. Moreover, strategies are identified for integrating formal and informal volunteering as part of building community resilience to emergencies and local hazards. This research also provides some insights that can help volunteer organisations and managers in realising the importance of attracting a diverse range of volunteers, before and after emergency events. This would result in community resilience and improved use of social innovations for formal and informal volunteer organisation. The research indicates that volunteer participation is a critical element of emergency services activities, especially in rural areas. Effective use of volunteers requires understanding their motivations and utilising appropriate recruitment and retention strategies. This is particularly important as formal or informal volunteers provide critical and different types of services that go beyond traditional roles for readiness, reduction and recovery operations and activities”
COVID-19 and its Impact on Volunteering: Moving Towards Virtual Volunteering
Leisure Sciences, 2020.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way volunteers have been contributing to organizational or event operations. The social distancing measures mean the traditional form of volunteering is threatened as this typically occurs with individuals fulfilling their activities in-person. This paper explores opportunities and challenges of virtual volunteering as a means to assist organizations and events during the pandemic and beyond. Virtual volunteering creates and increases the accessibility of such events but there are some managerial challenges and implications that need to be addressed. After addressing these opportunities and challenges, the paper goes on to discuss how virtual volunteering can create leisure opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond that.”
“Assigning spontaneous volunteers to relief efforts under uncertainty in task demand and volunteer availability” and “The optimal assignment of spontaneous volunteers”
NC State University, 2020.
These two studies summarise guidelines and provide useful tools for the effective use of volunteers during emergency response or recovery and relief operations. These kinds of volunteer efforts are characterised by coordination difficulties resulting from a range of uncertainties. If one considers food distribution, for instance, there might not be reliable information around how much food supplies are available to distribute or how many people will need assistance. After acknowledging these uncertainties, the researchers have used advanced computational models to develop guidelines, or rules of thumb, that volunteer managers can use to help volunteers make the most significant difference. The resulting model can help volunteer managers to determine the optimal assignments of volunteers to various tasks when the exact amount of work is unknown. The model was then used to create a set of guidelines that can be applied even when volunteer managers do not have access to computers or the internet.