VSO works to influence policy at national, regional and international levels, using evidence from our programmes to help shape a fairer world.
Whether it’s advocating to change bye-laws in the communities we work in, influencing national legislation across Africa and Asia-Pacific, or bringing the voices of the most marginalised to input to global bodies like the UN, all of our policy and advocacy is rooted in evidence from our programming and centres the needs and voices of our primary actors.
We’ve achieved salary reform for teachers in Cambodia, improved the rights of people with disabilities in Kenya, and helped some of the world’s most marginalised people hold their governments to account on the provision of health and education services.
Around the world, we also work to promote and support volunteering at community, national and global levels. We help partner countries to develop national policies on volunteering and assist them to capacity-build their voluntary and civil society sectors.
Our influencing and advocacy work
Case studies from our work
The ‘Leave No One Behind’ consortium, is a coalition of twelve NGOs working on gathering data on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to incorporate SDGs into national policies in five countries.
In 2019, the Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Youth and Children set out to develop a ten-year sector blueprint for a new national development plan for Ethiopia, to run from 2021-30. VSO's involvement ensured that the voices and perspectives of the most marginalised were able to feed into Ethiopia’s future development plans.
We see youth engagement as a true partnership that entails engaging youth from the start of any initiative - from agenda setting and decision-making, to implementation and evaluation - to achieve a shared outcome in development.
In 2019, VSO Pakistan identified the rights of people with disabilities as a policy focus and helped to draft a Disability Act which would ensure the rights of people with disabilities through democratic, rights-based and inclusive legislation.
While all countries have signed up to achieving the SDGs, they are not legally binding, and so when member states made commitments towards them in 2015, it was decided a space was needed for monitoring and accountability towards their progress.