Our insights

In-depth explorations of how our unique volunteering for development approach works to empower communities to create lasting change.

Latest insights

VSO volunteer Rea Torres talks to ICS team leader Torom Justus and Nadja Attianeze Barreto SAP Marcomms volunteer at Buhimba Vocational Training College.
© Georgie Scott/VSO

Volunteering together: Do we really know how it works?

by Matt Baillie Smith, Inge Boudewijn, Owen Boyle, Bianca Fadel, Philip Gibby, Katy Jenkins

VSO’s collaboration with the research team from Northumbria University sets out to interrogate how a blend of different types of volunteering approaches might create an impact.

A 'Big Sister' demonstrates how to make sanitary towels to a group of women
VSO/Omar Havana

Nothing about us, without us

by Sosina Yirga Meheretu, Anne Kahuria

How youth platforms lead to more inclusive pandemic responses.

Big sister showing hygiene kit

Pandemic deepens period poverty

by Geeta Pradhan

Nepal must tackle menstrual hygiene and taboos during the lockdown, or risk losing a generation of girls.

A woman punches the air and smiles in the street outside a row of buildings
VSO/Jack Howson

Going above and beyond to support women entrepreneurs

by Dawn Hoyle

Whether in the UK or Uganda, there’s growing evidence that the pressures of lockdown and the associated economic downturn will lead to a regression in women’s rights and gender equality.

A volunteer in a VSO T-shirt stands in front of a temporary learning centre in the Cox's Bazar refugee camp
VSO/Mahmud Hossain Opu

COVID-19, poverty and inequality

by Alok Rath

Why we need the volunteering for development approach as a capability response.

A young girl sits outside with her mother and father, who are both wearing face masks, using a tablet to learn
VSO/Craig Mawanga

Technology is an enabler, not a panacea. Here’s how we should use it.

by Philip Goodwin

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a lasting legacy in terms of how we use technology to deliver development programs around the world.

Volunteers teaching a group of children about social distancing

Pandemic response must empower communities

by Ezekiel Esipisu, Donne Cameron, Philip Goodwin

COVID-19 is accelerating new approaches to do development differently

Philip Goodwin, VSO CEO

What role for charities amid the growth of the ‘informal sector’?

by Philip Goodwin

It’s vital to move beyond artificial divisions between the ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ sectors to a new spirit of active citizenship

An ICS volunteer in front of a blackboard

Engage youth successfully to drive change

by Natchawi Wadman, Scott Desmarais, Ann Karau

Accelerating and improving the quality of youth engagement is vital if we are to drastically reduce poverty.

Find out more

Volunteer Monica Atim sits outside with two teenage girls, a baby and a woman, discussing contraception

Volunteering for development

Our unique volunteering for development approach puts the most marginalised people first.

Women farmers tend their crops in Bangladesh | VSO

Our work

We fight poverty not by sending aid, but by working through volunteers and partners to create long-lasting change in some of the world’s poorest regions.

Fatima Zubairu and Fatima Al Hassan are pictured here with a thresher machine that strips the husks and stalks from soya beans.
VSO/Onye Ubanatu


At VSO, we believe progress is only possible when we work together.