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Our research and evaluations

ICS Social Return on Investment Evaluation

Commissioned by VSO, and delivered by NEF Consulting, the ICS Social Return on Investment Evaluation explores the long term return on investment of youth volunteering, finding that for every £1 spent on the ICS programme, an estimated £4.64 in social value is created.

Find out more about the report

Livelihoods Programming and the Capability Approach

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

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VSO Impact Beyond Volunteering research report

Impact Beyond Volunteering

VSO’s Impact beyond volunteering 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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Cover of the Valuing Volunteering report

Valuing Volunteering

Four 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.

Find out more about the research


Evaluations of our projects and programmes are critical to better understand the contribution we make in delivering sustainable development.

Find out more about VSO evaluations, including our meta-evaluation and synthesis review