Workshop in Singapore explored the role of partnerships in international volunteering

The Next Age Institute at WUSTL co-sponsored a two-day Workshop on Development Partnerships: The Role of International Volunteering at National University of Singapore explored the role of partnerships in international volunteering to address global inequalities. Participating scholars of an interdisciplinary and globally-diverse range of countries and universities discussed how international development volunteering can contribute to more equitable, mutually beneficial, and sustainable development partnerships and made plans for new collaborative research.

Benjamin Lough, Faculty Director of International Service at the Center for Social Development at WUSTL, presented a paper on “The Changing Role of International Volunteer Cooperation Organizations as Alternative Development Actors”.

Selected papers coming out of the workshop are planned for publication in a special issue of the Third World Quarterly focusing on the changing role and impact of international volunteering in development partnerships.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of National University of Singapore organized the Workshop. Professors Tracey Skelton of NUS, Susanne Schech of Flinders University, and Uma Kothari of University of Manchester were the lead organizers.

The co-funding for this workshop was provided in honor of Mr. S.R. Nathan, distinguished and longest-serving President of Singapore (1999-2011). Mr. Nathan has expressed his belief that many more people should volunteer. The Next Age Institute embraces Mr. Nathan’s vision for Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region. Michael Sherraden, NAI Director at WUSTL, is the S.R. Nathan Professor of Social Work at NUS.

In follow-up to the ideas presented at this workshop, Washington University will co-sponsor a conference on U.S. international volunteering at the Brookings Institution on June 14, 2016. This conference will focus on international volunteering within the 2030 UN sustainable development agenda: Forging Global Development Outcomes, Research, and Alliances. A further conference focusing on international volunteering research in ASEAN is being planned with partners at National University in Singapore for March 2017.