About United Nations Volunteer (UNV)

 UN Volunteers in Lao PDR. Photo: UNV Lao PDR/Valter Ziantoni

UNV is the UN organisation that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.

UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity. More information can be found on the UNV global programme.

United Nations Volunteer in Lao PDR

 Ms Alexandra Bounxouei, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador at the UN Volunteers’ 13th Blood Donation Campaign. Photo: UNV Lao PDR/Valter Ziantoni

UNV in Lao PDR was established in 1983, and works in collaboration with other UN agencies, the Lao government, volunteer organisations, academia and the media to meet the MDG’s and the UNDAF outcomes, the UN’s development strategy for Lao PDR. The UNV 30 years in Laos infogram illustrates the work of UNV in Lao PDR since its establishment. More than 1000 volunteers have served in Lao PDR, and about 20 UN volunteers serve annually in different UN agencies, project offices and Lao government ministries. 

UNV encompasses three pillars: advocacy, programming and volunteer mobilization. The UNV Field Unit actively advocates for the role of volunteerism in development, in the form of publications, research, forums and events such as the International Volunteer Day, the Informal Volunteer Network and blood donation campaigns.

On a programming level, UNV is currently collaborating with the Lao Youth Union and the Lao National University in youth related issues and supporting the promotion of volunteerism.

In terms of mobilization, UNV recruits a great diversity of talents covering more than 20 professional categories and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. See UN Volunteers serving in Lao PDR 2013/4 for more details. This map was developed by an online volunteer, Ian H Browne.

How Volunteer Action Counts

 National volunteers supporting the Child Safe Tourism Campaign lead by UNIAP. Photo: UNV Lao PDR

The total contribution of UNV to the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) through the mobilization of UN Volunteers is USD 1,600,000. This includes volunteers funded by both UN host agencies and UNV.

UNV funded International UN Volunteers in Lao PDR amounts to US$ 318,000. UNV has several partnerships with donors supporting the mobilization of UN Volunteers in Lao PDR such as the Hiroshima Peacebuilders’ Centre contributing to MDG 9, the Korea International Cooperation Agency contributing to MDG 7 and Irish Aid contributing to MDGs 1, 4 and 5.

The Contributions of UN Volunteers in Lao PDR to the MDGs in 2013/14’ is a map of serving volunteers per Millenium Development Goal including post titles and brief description of tasks. Some volunteers contribute to the achievement of more than one MDG through their assignments. This map was developed by an online volunteer, Mr Ian Browne from UK.

Likewise, UN Volunteers also contribute to the achievement of the UNDAF outcomes. The 'UN Volunteers Contribution to UNDAF 2012 – 2015 in Lao PDR' mapping offers an overview of the volunteer contribution per outcome including post title, host agency and serving period.

The total contribution of UNV to the UNDAF 2012 – 2015 in Lao PDR through the mobilization of UN Volunteers currently amounts to USD 2,516,286. This includes around 50 volunteers funded by both UN host agencies and UNV.

UNV funded International UN Volunteers in Lao PDR through bilateral partners such as the Hiroshima Peacebuilders’ Centre, The Korea International Cooperation Agency and Irish Aid amount to US$ 756,409.

The Hiroshima Peacebuilders’ Centre has supported volunteers whose work contributed to the achievement of MDG 9. In the same way, the Korea International Cooperation Agency has contributed to the achievement of MDG 7 and Irish Aid to MDGs 1, 4 and 5.

National United Nations Volunteer recruitment in Champasak and Oudomxay

UNV Lao PDR travelled to Champasak and Oudomxay to support the recruitment of National UNVs (NUNV) to work in community mobilization within the framework of the Community Radio UNDP project.

Retreat of UNV Lao PDR

UNV in Lao PDR has completed a full-day retreat on 9 Oct, provided a chance for the UNVs to look at the past and reflect on our role in Laos's development. We have UNRC Ms.Kaarina giving us an opening remark, and UNVs from UNDP, UNICEF,UNWOMEN and UNACT. From the retreat, volunteers had a better understanding on UNV’s contribution to the overall work of the UN in Lao PDR, and built a stronger supportive community among all partners.