Greater civic engagement can help improve governance: UN report

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 23, 2015

Vital issue: The study underlined the important role played by 20 million WX volunteers involved in polio immunisation globally   -  The Hindu

Calls for including more volunteer voices in the decision-making process

At a time when the NDA government has cancelled licences of about 9,000 NGOs in India citing violation of certain rules, a UN report has called upon governments to provide ‘enabling environments’ to tap the huge potential of volunteers in ensuring inclusive and sustainable development.

Citing evidence from around the world, the “State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015”, released here on Tuesday, shows how the role played by volunteers has improved the way citizens are governed and engaged, especially in countries such as India , Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China among others.

Calling for a more “enabling environment” for civic engagement to ensure inclusive and sustainable development and transform governance, Rosemary Kalapurakal, UN Volunteers Deputy Executive Coordinator, said: “Volunteerism helps in making those who govern accountable to those who are governed.”

The report, which also called for including more volunteer voices in the decision-making process, cited the cases of Uttarakhand where women had become “powerful voices” in the local communities and were monitoring issues such as use of forest and water resources as well as performance of local schools.

Louis Georges Arsenault, UN Resident Coordinator, while underlining the ‘vital’ role played by volunteers across the Asia-Pacific region, cited the instance of 20 million volunteers involved in polio immunisation globally. “We are very proud that India was declared polio free in 2014, after almost 20 years for fighting with the disease,” he said, adding that this was made possible with the support of over 2.4 million Indian volunteers, apart from government initiatives.

Published on June 23, 2015

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