VSO Chief Executive Philip Goodwin speaks animatedly at a conference about the Sustainable Development Goals

Our priorities for 2023-4: A message from CEO Philip Goodwin

VSO CEO Philip Goodwin
David McClenaghan
Philip Goodwin, ​​​​​​​Chief Executive Officer

Philip Goodwin, VSO Chief Executive Officer outlines our priorities for the next twelve months. 

Women at Kulambagan mangrove nursery project in the Philippines.
Women's Association President Josephine Curay at the Mangrove Nursery Project. Kolambugan, Philippines.

I am grateful to all those individuals, institutions and companies who have worked with us over the last year. Together we have shown how we can work alongside the most vulnerable and most marginalised, to change our world for the better. This is what it means to be changemakers.

In the coming year, we will continue to focus on building the capacity of people in communities to be active citizens through volunteering. Over the past three years, the numbers of VSO national and community volunteers have grown exponentially. We will continue to support the growth of volunteering around the world through the roll-out of the Global Standard for Volunteering for Development and by building our strong relationships with multilateral institutions such as the African Union and the Association of South East Asian Nations. Using our knowledge and evidence to build recognition of volunteering as a transformational contribution to the delivery of the Global Goals is key to our mission and strategy.

At the same time, our work will continue to support improvements in service delivery for the most vulnerable, in education, health and livelihoods. We know that there are strong links between each of these sectors and that creating sustainable change requires us to bring all three together in our programming.

In education, we have built a reputation for innovation and use of information technology to extend the reach and quality of education provision. We are looking to expand these programmes but with a particular focus on ensuring that there is community support for education particularly for girls and those children with disabilities, and that the school environment is conducive to learning.

In livelihoods, the issues of climate change and decent employment for young people are at the forefront of our minds. We will be focusing on supporting locally led climate adaptation and sustainable agriculture practice and in working with partners around the world to support young people in finding decent employment opportunities.

In health, we know that strengthening the capacity of community health volunteers and peer educators in raising awareness of and speaking out against harmful traditional practices and social norms is essential. Our work will focus on ensuring that adolescents and youth, no matter the marginalisation or vulnerability they are facing, can exercise their rights to quality sexual reproductive health services.

We will continue to grow our strategic partnerships because we know that delivering our mission will not be possible without close collaboration. Partnerships such as the ones we have with the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) to mobilise African voices and action on climate justice and with Randstad on developing innovative approaches to decent employment, are essential and just two examples of how we intend to deliver at scale.

Over the coming year, we expect to stabilise and grow our income through investment in our public fundraising efforts and by diversifying our income from governments and foundations around the world.

At VSO, we are immensely proud of what we have achieved over the last year. This is only possible with your support. There is still so much work to do if we are to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. With your help, we can be confident about fulfilling our plans by working to create a fair world for everyone.

Philip Goodwin
Chief Executive Officer

Find out more

Read more about what we achieved in 2022/23 in our impact reportAnnual impact report 

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