The United Nations Volunteers(UNV) programme, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Primary Industries of Sri Lanka, developed the first draft of the National Policy on Volunteerism in 2014 through multi-stakeholder consultation consisting of experts from the Government, Academia, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Volunteer Involving Organizations (VIOs), Youth Groups and Private Sector.

The commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to promote socio-economic and technological development, that contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the Vision 2030, played a key role in the approval of the National Policy on Volunteerism on 6th August 2019. This was a landmark achievement for the volunteering sector in Sri Lanka. The implementation of the Policy required the establishment of a National Volunteering Secretariat (NVS) to ensure national level engagement in promoting, coordinating, mobilizing and establishing organized volunteering in the country.

The NVS is currently established under the Department of Social Services to act as a coordinating body for volunteer efforts within the country, to connect volunteers with relevant volunteering opportunities as required by the relevant VIO. Currently, UNV is supporting the Government of Sri Lanka to develop a Volunteer Management System to conduct these tasks efficiently and track relevant data related to volunteering within the country.

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