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93891 - UNV Innovation Challenge Fund - Modelling the economic and social contributions of volunteers to the Sustainable Development Goals
Procurement Process :Innovation Challenge
Office :United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme - GERMANY
Deadline :06-Jan-20
Posted on :28-Nov-19
Development Area :OTHER  OTHER
Reference Number :61682
Link to Atlas Project :
Non-UNDP Project
Documents :
93891_Call for proposals
93891_Annex I
93891_Annex II
93891_Annex III
93891_Annex IV
93891_Annex V
93891_Annex VI
Overview :

DEADLINE EXTENSION - Monday 6 January 2020.



93891 - UNV Innovation Challenge Fund

Modelling the economic and social contributions of volunteers to the Sustainable Development Goals

Meeting the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda requires the efforts of all of society. Everywhere, every day, ordinary people are acting on the issues that they care about. Over one billion active volunteers are carrying out a wide range of roles, from providing care and support to neighbours, extending basic services to under-served areas, campaigning for policy change, or building new relationships across polarized communities.

Although significant in size and scope, it is difficult to get a comprehensive picture of the contributions that these volunteers are making to our societies. Research shows that volunteers can make indirect and direct contributions, both through the specific tasks or activities that they complete, but also indirectly through improved health and well-being, increasing skills and confidence, and by strengthening trust, cooperation and innovation in communities.  But to date, there has been limited investment in building from this research to analyse the benefits of volunteering and to integrate this into policy priorities at national or sub-national level. Stronger evidence and models could help nurture volunteering and its positive contributions both for individuals and for societies.

This Open Innovation Challenge therefore seeks ideas of how to apply existing data and research on volunteering to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, to help better understand:

  • Analytical approaches: What are some potential qualitative and quantitative analytical frameworks or models that could help understand the contributions of volunteers at community, district, municipal or national level to the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Alternative data sources: What are some freely available data sources that can be combined to provide insights or analysis on volunteerism and how would this be done?
  • Measures: Which supplementary indicators or targets could better integrate an understanding of citizen contributions under specific SDG goals, targets or indicators?
  • Models of development: can analytical models incorporating volunteering tell us more about the nature and quality of human development?

Under this Innovation Challenge (Stage I), UNV expects to form partnerships with 6-8 applicants to create and develop possible approaches to the above questions.  Selected innovators will produce a 5,000-word paper including diagrams and infographics and will participate in Innovation Challenge activities as part of a community of practice. The papers will be published as part of an anthology for the Global Technical Meeting on Volunteering 2020 and will also inform a toolkit being developed on the measurement of volunteer work by UNV.


  • Join a dynamic community of practice to share ideas and provide challenge through the study development process.
  • All selected innovators will have their work published by UNV, including on the global Knowledge Hub on Volunteerism.
  • Based on the final submissions by the innovators, two contributors will be awarded a further USD 15,000 to pilot their idea in relation to one context (country/community) by the end of 2020.
  • Based on progress by May 2020, one innovator may be selected to participate in the Global Technical Meeting on Volunteering in July 2020 at the High-Level Political Forum on the SDGs in New York (maximum 2 representatives).


Each applicant (individual or institution) is required to submit a proposal to UNV Procurement procurement@unv.orgRef. 93891 – UNV Innovation Challenge fund for up to a maximum of USD 10,000 to prepare and deliver a 5,000-word paper addressing one or more of the objectives of the challenge fund. 

The deadline for the proposal is Monday 6 January 2020.