V-Force is an initiative of UNV Sri Lanka which aims to bring together individuals who are passionate about volunteering. This initiative was launched during the tenth anniversary celebrations of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10) in 2011. The V-Force platform has grown with over 15,000 volunteers registered on the platform who are engaged to support the work of the United Nations in Sri Lanka.
V-Force provides a space for interaction between individuals passionate about volunteering and UN Agencies, while leveraging on the energy of volunteers to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The V-Force volunteers have tremendous scope to enhance their employability skills in multiple areas of work by engaging in diverse initiatives of the UN.
Since its inception, V-Force volunteers have engaged in important initiatives such as V-Awards, the World Conference on Youth, International Volunteer Day, International Youth Day and UN Day in addition to many other projects. V-Force is recognised as a ‘Best Practice’ and this model has been replicated in a number of other UNV Offices including Bolivia, India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
More about V-Force
What do we want to know?
The V-Force system comprises multiple levels of stakeholders and for the purpose of this study key stakeholder groups were consulted. These includes founding members of V-Force, former volunteers, current members and UN staff members who have previously engaged V-Force in activities hosted by their respective agencies. Engagement with this cross section of individuals provides perspectives on past and current trends as well as points of view from different levels of the management structure of V-Force. It is vital to gain an accurate understanding of the existing levels of engagement of V-Force within the UN system.
This feasibility study was conducted to ensure a broader understanding of the V-Force initiative and the ensuing changes it has gone through over the years. The objective of the study is identification of the most effective management structure for V-Force, potential for scale-up and explore options for financial models that ensure sustainability.
Analyzing V-Force repository sheets. Although the repository sheets were introduced only in 2013, two years after the launching of V-Force, they are the most accurate data available on V-Force engagement. Founding members of the V-Force, past volunteers and UN staff members were consulted through one-on-one interviews.
Where do we stand now?
Prior to proposing changes, it is important to understand and analyze the current context with respect to the V-Force platform. The situation analysis will review the current membership, number of volunteers engaged and key areas of V-Force contribution towards UN Agencies. The analysis will also assess the volunteer management system in place to mobilize V-Force. In line with the primary objective of increasing volunteer opportunities, this section will also evaluate the overall presence of the UN system in Sri Lanka to assess volunteer opportunities beyond Colombo.