Members of a women’s farmer group tend to their communal crops in Durgapur Village, Rangpur, North West Bangladesh. The farmers group is part of the ‘Growing Together Programme’ - a three year partnership between VSO and Syngenta.

Fighting Poverty

Volunteering for Development

Valuing volunteering

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

Most previous studies focussed on the effect volunteering has on the volunteers themselves, 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 to reducing poverty.

Find out more about the research

People First

Our strategy, People First, sets out how we will increase our impact against marginalisation and poverty:

  • Extend and deepen our impact through our programmes
  • Mobilise global citizens to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Position volunteering as a powerful contribution to delivery of the SDGs


Where we work

VSO volunteer anaesthesiologist doctor Tom Bashford with a mother and her baby. Her baby is about to have an operation to remove his cleft lip at Yekatit Hosiptal, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Research and evaluation

Evaluating our work is essential. We carry out systematic assessments of all projects, programmes and policies.

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

Our research and evaluations

Women protest for better women's rights in Nepal

Leading change

VSO influences policy at national, regional and international levels. We connect decision makers to the experiences of our volunteers, partners and marginalised people.

Our work around the world amplifying the voices of the poorest is making change happen.

Find out more