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Our research


Research plays a critical role in helping us understand and improve our work reducing poverty.

Research highlights

Some of our research highlights include:

Livelihoods programming and the Capability Approach

This research collaboration worked with selected programmes to explore about how the Capability Approach can help VSO deliver its People First Strategy in livelihood programming.

Find out more about the research


Impact beyond volunteering

This study explores how the experience of volunteering creates lasting changes in VSO volunteers themselves, impacting their future behaviour, career choices and influence on others.

It draws on data from more than 2,700 volunteer alumni from across Africa, Asia and Europe to find that the majority of volunteers are more socially active as a result of their experience.

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Valuing volunteering: The role of volunteering in sustainable development

Volunteer researchers worked in four countries (the Philippines, Kenya, Nepal and Mozambique), using participatory action methods to determine the unique value of volunteering in international development.

Most previous studies have focused on the effect volunteering has on the volunteers themselves, but there has been little documentation of the impact volunteering creates. VSO has always believed that people are the best agents of change, and this research now provides evidence for volunteers’ unique contribution in reducing poverty.

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Further information

For more information, or to access our full publications list, contact Miriam Karim, Knowledge and Learning Coordinator: miriam.karim@vsoint.org.