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Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition

1 The Comhlámh Code of Good Practice (CoGP) for Volunteer Sending Agencies is a set of standards for organisations involved in


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition The Comhlámh Code of Good Practice (CoGP) for Volunteer Sending Agencies is a set of standards for organisations involved in facilitating international volunteer placements in the global south. The focus is to ensure overseas volunteering has a positive impact for the three main stakeholders: the local project and community, the volunteer and the sending agency,. Comhlámh (pronounced ‘co-law-ve’, Irish for ‘solidarity’) is a member and supporter organisation open to anyone interested in social justice, human rights and global development issues.

Honorary Patron Mary Robinson

Acknowledgements Comhlámh would like to thank the individuals and agencies who volunteered to participate in the 2015 code review process, the members of the Volunteering Options Working Group and the wider group of signatories for their contributions in shaping the Code of Good Practice and self-audit tool. The review and updating process was facilitated by Philip Mudge (Comhlámh Volunteer Quality Project Officer), supported by Comhlámh management and staff.

Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies: 7th Edition 2015 © Comhlámh 2015.

Extracts from this publication may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes without permission provided full acknowledgment is given to Comhlámh This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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Comhlåmh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition

Our organisation provides comprehensive and effective debriefing for returned volunteers

Our organisation takes all practicable steps to ensure the protection, safety and well-being of volunteers and the communities they work with

Our organisation provides sufficient resources to local partners to run sustainable volunteer programmes

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Our volunteer programmes are based on realistic aims and objectives and provide volunteer roles that are appropriate and valuable to the host community.

Our programme development is informed by ongoing monitoring and evaluation Our organisation accepts and celebrates the diversity and individuality of our volunteers and assists and provides for their varying support needs. Our organisation provides and promotes messages and imagery consistent with good practice, and clear expressions of organisational aims, ethos and values Our organisation supports volunteers to understand the wider context of development in which volunteering is taking place, and encourages continued learning and engagement

Our organisation provides potential volunteers with, accurate and independent information about the organisation and volunteer placements

Our organisation uses equitable, consistent and transparent recruitment and application procedures

Our organisation ensures that volunteers participate in appropriate preparation, training and induction.


Comhlåmh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition

Contents Section 1: Introduction and background.............................................................. Vision ................................................................................................................ 6 Principles .......................................................................................................... 7 Signatory Statement ......................................................................................... 8 Who can use the Code of Good Practice? .................................................... 10 Implementing the Code of Good Practice .................................................... 10 Section 2: Volunteer Sending Agency Information .............................................. Section 3: Self-Audit Tool .................................................................................... Principle 1: Our volunteer programmes are based on realistic aims and objectives and provide volunteer roles that are appropriate and valuable to the host community. ................................................................................... 22 Principle 2: Our organisation provides potential volunteers with accurate and independent information about the organisation and volunteer placements. ................................................................................................ 25

Principle 7: Our organisation provides comprehensive and effective debriefing for returned volunteers ............................................................. 53 Principle 8: Our programme development is informed by ongoing monitoring and evaluation. .......................................................................................... 58 Principle 9: Our organisation supports volunteers to understand the wider context of development in which volunteering is taking place, and encourages continued learning and engagement. ...................................... 62 Principle 10: Our organisation accepts and celebrates the diversity and individuality of our volunteers and assists and provides for their varying support needs. ........................................................................................... 65 Principle 11: Our organisation provides and promotes messages and imagery consistent with good practice, and clear expressions of organisational aims, ethos and values........................................................ 72 Section 4: How to complete the CoGP self-audit tool ..................................... 79

Principle 3: Ourorganisation uses equitable, consistent and transparent recruitment and application procedures ..................................................... 30

Section 5: Training resources and additional support .................................... 87

Principle 4: Our organisation ensures that volunteers participate in appropriate preparation, training and induction. ....................................... 35

Embedding the Code of Good Practice Document on your Website. ................ 95

Principle 5:Our organisation provides sufficient resources to local partners to run sustainable volunteer programmes. ................................................. 40

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Principle 6: Our organisation takes all practicable steps to ensure the protection, safety and well-being of volunteers and the communities they work with. .................................................................................................. 44

Website and Social Media Protocols ................................................................ 95


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition

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Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition

The Comhlámh Code of Good Practice (CoGP) for Volunteer Sending Agencies is a set of standards for organisations involved in facilitating international volunteer placements in the global south.

The focus is to ensure overseas volunteering has a positive impact for the three main stakeholders: the local project and community, the volunteer, and the sending agency.

Vision Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies is based on a vision of volunteers working in solidarity for a just, equitable and sustainable world.

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Effective volunteer programmes therefore: • Are underpinned by a belief in global justice • Are based in good development practice • Address locally identified needs focused on the partner projects and communities.

The Code of Good Practice reflects a number of core values. These are: • Cultural exchange and mutual understanding • Development education and the importance of contributing to development • Partnership • Quality • Solidarity • Sustainability • Valuing volunteering and encouraging appropriate volunteer attitudes.


Principles This Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending agencies is established on 11 principles that reflect signatories’ ongoing good practice throughout the lifecycle of the international volunteer programme, including a focus on pre-recruitment, during placement, and post-return stages.

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1 2 3 4 5 6

Our volunteer programmes are based on realistic aims and objectives and provide volunteer roles that are appropriate and valuable to the host community Our organisation provides potential volunteers with accurate and independent information about the organisation and volunteer placements Our organisation uses equitable, consistent and transparent volunteer recruitment and application procedures

7 8 9

Our organisation provides comprehensive and effective debriefing for returned volunteers

10 11

Our organisation accepts and celebrates the diversity and individuality of our volunteers and assists and provides for their varying support needs Our organisation provides and promotes messages and imagery consistent with good practice, and clear expressions of organisational aims, ethos and values

Before Volunteer Placement

Our organisation ensures that volunteers participate in appropriate preparation, training and induction. Our organisation provides sufficient resources to local partners to run sustainable volunteer programmes Our organisation takes all practicable steps to ensure the protection, safety and well-being of volunteers and the communities they work with

Our programme development is informed by ongoing monitoring and evaluation Our organisation supports volunteers to understand the wider context of development in which volunteering is taking place, and encourages continued learning and engagement

During Volunteer Placement Post-return Ongoing throughout the programme


Signatory Statement VSA Name________________________ Company/ Charity Number_____________________

As a signatory to the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies we commit to 1. Promoting the vision and values of the CoGP within our organisation 2. Establishing the principles outlined in the CoGP within our work: • Our volunteer programmes are based on realistic aims and objectives and provide volunteer roles that are appropriate and valuable to the host community • Our organisation provides potential volunteers with accurate and independent information about the organisation and volunteer placements • Our organisation uses equitable, consistent and transparent recruitment and application procedures • Our organisation ensures that volunteers participate in appropriate preparation, training and induction • Our organisation provides sufficient resources to local partners to run sustainable volunteer programmes • Our organisation takes all practicable steps ensure the protection, safety and well-being of volunteers and the communities they work with • Our organisation provides comprehensive and effective debriefing for returned volunteers • Our programme development is informed by ongoing monitoring and evaluation • Our organisation supports volunteers to understand the wider context of development in which volunteering is taking place, and encourages continued learning and engagement. • Our organisation accepts and celebrates the diversity and individuality of our volunteers and assists and provides for their varying support needs • Our organisation provides and promotes messages and imagery consistent with good practice, and clear expressions of organisational aims, ethos and values 3. Actively working towards implementing the standards outlined in the self-audit tool 4. Actively engaging in mutual peer support with other signatory organisations and Comhlámh and contributing to the ongoing development of the CoGP in the spirit of shared learning 5. Completing and submitting the self-audit tool to Comhlámh annually and participating in periodical external audit processes 6. Informing all persons within the organisation of our status as a signatory and the responsibilities and obligations associated with code signatory status.

Chairperson/ President (signature):

Date

Director/Board Member (signature):

Date

(A hard copy of this page should be signed and returned to Comhlámh by April 30th annually to indicate your organisation’s ongoing signatory status and commitment to the Code of Good Practice. A second copy should be retained for display within your organisation).

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Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition

Introduction The Code of Good Practice (CoGP) has been developed in close consultation with Irish volunteer sending agencies (VSAs), returned volunteers and with a range of partners that host international volunteers. The content of the CoGP has been comprehensively reviewed, revised and updated in 2015 to incorporate emerging best practice trends in the sector, as well as to clarify indicators and requirements for evidence presentation.

focusing on different areas of development. Comhlámh strongly promotes responsible, responsive international volunteering. For over a decade Comhlámh has encouraged Irish volunteer sending agencies to work in a collaborative environment to support this aim.

Drawing on the

diversity within the sector, and focusing on the experience of host organisations and volunteers, we have developed this Code of Good Practice that sets out a shared vision for good practice and accountability in volunteer programmes. This

Comhlámh and good practice standards in

unique document has been recognised by volunteer sending agencies around the

international development volunteering

world and has been adapted for use in a range of other contexts.

As the Irish Association of Development Workers and Volunteers, Comhlámh has a long history of working with and supporting international development workers and volunteers and, indirectly, sending organisations.

From initial identification of principles of good practice and indicators in 2006, the CoGP has grown organically with the introduction of a peer support system and various quality control processes including self and external audit. A threetiered system of implementation including Core Indicator and Comprehensive

Comhlámh’s work on standards and good practice has always been informed by

Compliance Status has been developed to ensure that all signatories of the CoGP

the experiences of members returning from overseas placements. In the mid-

are able to demonstrate a minimum duty of care to volunteers and the

1990s, Comhlámh’s Options and Issues in Volunteering for Development Group

communities with which they work and to strive for continuous organisational

undertook significant critical work that analysed the changing role of the

development.

development worker and volunteer within wider debates on aid and development.

The closure of APSO in the early 2000s and the growing public

interest in short term volunteering overseas, prompted Comhlámh to bring the group’s learning into work with the increasing number of volunteer sending agencies operating from Ireland. This diverse sector included short and long term placement organisations, professional and non-professional groups, for-

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profit and not-for-profit agencies, and faith-based and secular organisations, all

A major review of the Code was undertaken in 2015 by a specially convened review group of VSAs, co-ordinated by Comhlámh’s Volunteer Quality Project Officer (VQPO) and overseen by the Comhlámh’s Volunteer Options Working Group (VOWG).

All signatories had the opportunity to input into the revised

content and format through the peer support process.


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition

Who can use the Code of Good Practice? The CoGP can be used as a tool by any organisation or group sending volunteers overseas in a development context, The CoGP principles and indicators have been designed to accommodate a broad range of programme types including organisations targeting volunteers participating in short-term, non-professional placements, or long-term highly-skilled placements.

Implementing the Code of Good Practice Benefits of implementing the CoGP By being an active signatory to the CoGP, a VSA demonstrates the level of commitment it has to good practice standards. Undertaking the organisational

Signing up to the CoGP and participating in the formal monitoring and validation

self-audit and participation in shared learning through the Code’s peer support

processes is only open to organisations that:

structures provides a very simple and effective way of showing a funder that the

• • • • •

• • •

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understand the responsibilities and obligations of being a signatory to the CoGP.

Have an international volunteer programme in place; have been actively sending volunteers overseas for over a year and continue to do so Include a development impact/awareness focus to their programmes Are legally registered as either a company or charity in Ireland or Northern Ireland for over a year Commit to working towards the principles outlined in the CoGP Complete and submit the CoGP self-audit prior to being reviewed for consideration as a full CoGP signatory organisation and annually thereafter Participate in external audit in the first year of becoming a signatory and thereafter in ongoing audit processes Attend at least one of two peer support meetings annually in the spirit of shared learning Actively work towards implementing the core standards outlined within the self-audit, and the comprehensive compliance standard once the core indicators are in place Inform all persons within the organisation, including new members of staff, of its status as a signatory and ensure that all individuals

organisation is serious about good practice and that the organisation is putting important systems in place. Irish Aid, one of the main funders of development work in Ireland, requests that VSAs applying for funding under the Civil Society Fund be a signatory to the CoGP. In addition, implementing the COGP shows that the organisation: • •

• •

Provides better experience and quality of programmes for volunteers, ensuring that all participants’ needs are appropriately addressed Actively involves local partners at each stage of the volunteer cycle. This enables volunteer programmes to remain well-informed about local development and improves the overall impact of the programmes for local partners and their communities Shares experiences and accesses support from other sending agencies through the peer support system and other Comhlámh supports Refines work practices to develop effective management styles, learn how to use resources meaningfully and improve programmes through continuous analysis.


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition And thus provides greater credibility and legitimacy with funders, potential volunteers and the public.

Signatory organisations are required to submit a completed self-audit (by 1st

Commitment to the CoGP is shown by becoming a signatory, actively engaging

December) annually. This self-audit is a point-in-time assessment of the VSA’s

with the vision, values and principles of the Code and undertaking the annual

implementation of the standards and should outline areas to strengthen and

required activities. Recognition is given to organisations that show through

improve on within the coming year. Submitting the self-audit on an annual basis

evidence a high degree of compliance with the Code. Organisations that are in

allows your organisation to monitor growth and assess the implementation of

compliance with the 18 core indicators essential for an effective volunteer

the Code of Good Practice.

programme are recognised with Core Indicator Status and those that are in compliance with 85% of the indicators, including the core indicators, are recognised with Comprehensive Compliance Status Signatories to the Code of Good Practice are required to complete the following steps:

Step 1: Signing up: • • • • •

Meet with Comhlámh staff to discuss information about their organisation’s volunteer programmes Complete a Pre-signatory Form attaching proof of registration as a company or charity Submit the Code signatory statement to Comhlámh by April 30th annually Complete a VSA Information Form annually Publicise the Code and your status as signatories on organisational documentation and through electronic media (see Section 4)

All signatory forms can be obtained from, and returned to the Volunteer Quality Programme Officer (Philip@comhlamh.org).

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Step 2: Annual Self-audits

Comhlámh will review the completed self-audits annually, record whether a signatory complies with the core indicators and/or 85% of all indicators, and send feedback based on the organisation’s progress.

Step 3: Peer Support Active participation by VSAs in a peer support network is a key element of implementing the CoGP. Peer support meetings are held at least twice a year to facilitate the sharing of information and an exchange of ideas. Issues-based meetings are also held on an ad-hoc basis, enabling participants to have in-depth discussion on a topic that is of particular relevance to their organisation.

Step 4: External audit All VSAs are required to undertake an external audit shortly after becoming a signatory to the Code, and then undertake a desk-based review every three years thereafter. Participating in these processes enhances learning and programme improvement. The external audit involves the following steps:


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition •

• •

After receiving a completed self-audit, Comhlámh shares it with an independent auditing consultant who formulates questions to review with the VSA The auditor then visits the VSA reviews the self-audit, checks documentation and verifies processes The auditor drafts a report assessing the VSA’s implementation of the CoGP compared with their self-assessment. The report makes recommendations for further programme development, particularly in relation to meeting the core indicators. Areas where the VSA can benefit from capacity building are highlighted The auditor explains the assessment outlined in the report and discusses how the VSA may prioritise the recommendations.

The desk-based review involves the following steps: • •

The VSA provides the external consultant with documentation on programme policies and practices The external consultant reviews the VSA’s progress since the external audit and assesses how the VSA is performing, particularly against the core indicators and any other matters relevant to the CoGP The external consultant drafts a report assessing the VSA’s implementation of the CoGP and makes recommendations for further programme development.

The external consultant and desk based review reports are confidential to Comhlámh, the consultant, the signatory organisation and a recognition panel tasked with conferring the Core Indicators and/or the Comprehensive Compliance Awards.

Step 5: Recognition Panel The Core Indicators and Comprehensive Compliance Awards have been

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introduced to incentivise VSAs to actively implement the indicators outlined within the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice. A Recognition Panel has been established with responsibility for reviewing evidence provided by VSAs and external review/ desk based review processes and awarding Core Indicator and the Comprehensive Compliance status to those VSA which meet the requirements. The Recognition Panel members review: • • • • •

A VSA’s self-audit documentation Feedback report from the Volunteering Quality Project Officer at Comhlámh on their implementation of the Core Indicators The external auditor or desk-based reviewers’ feedback report Evidence furnished by the VSA relating to the core indicators Any other relevant information including, where appropriate, feedback from potential or returned volunteers.

All VSAs who are deemed to have all the core indicators in place or have attained comprehensive compliance are then awarded Core Indicator/ Comprehensive Compliance status by Comhlámh and have the opportunity to publicise this information on their website and to their volunteers.


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Volunteer Sending Agency Information 2015 Instructions: Please sign and return a copy of the ‘Volunteer Sending Agency Information 2015’ chart below to Philip Mudge, Volunteering Quality Project Officer, Comhlámh, 12 Parliament Street, Dublin 2. Please note that the full self-audit should be emailed to Philip@comhlamh.org. Organisation name:

Type of organisation (please tick only one box):

Not for profit

.

For profit.

Other (please specify):

Total number of paid staff in your organisation at the end of 2015 (based in your Irish office and not international field staff). Full-time:

Part-time:

Full-time equivalent :

Comments/Notes:

Irish-based administrative volunteers Total number of Irish-based administrative volunteer staff in your organisation at the end of 2015 (based in your Irish office and not international field staff). Full-time: Comments/Notes:

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Part-time

Full-time equivalent :


For how many years has your organisation been sending volunteers overseas?

What countries did your organisation send volunteers to in 2015? Please list all the countries.

What types of volunteering placements are offered by your organisation? Group-based volunteering placements Individual volunteering placements Other (please specify):

Does your volunteer programme incorporate any of the following features (see glossary for full definitions)? South-South Volunteering (e.g., a project in Laos engaging volunteers from neighbouring country) Diaspora Volunteering (e.g., a Laotian living in Ireland returning to Laos to volunteer) Exchange/Reciprocal Volunteering (e.g. Laotian coming to Ireland while a volunteer from Ireland goes to Laos). Online/Virtual Volunteering (e.g., a volunteer that uses the internet to undertake or deliver tasks for the VSA) Corporate/Private Sector Volunteering (e.g., engaging people in the corporate sector in voluntary work)

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Local Volunteering (e.g., engaging people in Ireland to volunteer locally for your VSA) International Local Volunteering (example A: an international project that features a local person volunteering in a local context; example B: a person from Laos who volunteers on a local Laotian project that your VSA has ties to) Youth Volunteering (e.g., engaging people age 30 and below in volunteer initiatives) Number of volunteers sent abroad by your organisation in 2015 by sex. Female:

Male:

Total:

Targeted number of volunteers for 2016: Comments/Notes:

Estimated costs incurred by volunteer (please include cost of flight, accommodation, food, fundraising requirements, contribution fee, etc.): Comments/Notes:

Number of volunteers sent abroad by your organisation in 2015 by their age category: Aged 17 years and under: Aged 18 – 25 years: Aged 26 – 30 years: Aged 31 – 40 years: Aged 41 – 50 years:

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Aged 51 – 65 years: Aged 66+ years: Number of volunteers sent abroad by your organisation in 2015 by duration of their placement. Number of volunteers overseas for under 2 weeks Number of volunteers overseas for 2 to 4 weeks Number of volunteers overseas for 1 to 2 months Number of volunteers overseas for 2 to 3 months: Number of volunteers overseas for 4 to 6 months Number of volunteers overseas for 7 to 11 months: Number of volunteers overseas for 12 to 24 months Number of volunteers overseas for 24+ months In which months were your volunteers overseas? January

February

March

April

July

August

September

October

What kind of professional /non-professional background do your volunteers come from?

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May

November

June

December


Are volunteers recruited for a specific skill set? Yes

No

If ‘Yes’, please give details or examples If ‘No’ please give reasons why no specific skills are required

Number of volunteers sent overseas by your organisation in 2015 with prior experience of volunteering (with your organisation or any other volunteering organisation)? Prior experience of volunteering overseas:

Don’t know

No prior experience of volunteering overseas:

Don’t know

Prior experience of volunteering in Ireland or volunteer’s home country:

Don’t know

No prior experience of volunteering in Ireland or in volunteer’s home country

Don’t know

What activities do your volunteers engage in when abroad?

Do you offer pre-departure training?

Yes

No

Of the total number of volunteers sent in 2015, how many participated in pre-departure training?

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How many long is your pre-departure training? State the hours or days in total (e.g., 4 hours or 2 days).

Do you offer debriefing?

Yes

No

Of the total number of volunteers sent in 2015, how many participated in debriefing?

How long does your debriefing session run? State the hours or days in total (e.g., 4 hours or 2 days).

Briefly describe your overseas partnership structure (e.g., with the local community, local partners, local municipality, government bodies, and other agencies with which you work):

Have you been in contact with another CoGP signatory this year (outside of formal Comhlรกmh meetings)? If so, briefly describe the nature of this communication.

General comments and/or questions:

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Principle 1 21


Principle 1

Our volunteer programmes are based on realistic aims and objectives and provide volunteer roles that are appropriate and valuable to the host community. Rationale

In Ireland and throughout the global north, there is a demand from the public for overseas volunteer placements; however, the local need may not always match the perceived need in the global north or the expectations of individual volunteers. This principle aims to ensure that volunteer programmes fit with local needs. Volunteers should have useful, rewarding placements that address relevant needs and are made in consultation with local partners.

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Core Indicator 1

1.1: We involve local partners in volunteer recruitment and selection.

Fully attained

Substantially attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Partnership agreements identifying the needs and roles for online and onsite volunteers in programme plans Documented key inter-partner communications relating to recruitment and selection of online and onsite volunteers Written feedback from local partners identifying the needs and roles for volunteers in programme plans

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Partially attained


Core Indicator 2 24

1.2: We collaborate with local partners on programme design, planning and implementation.

Fully attained

Substantially Partially attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Partnership agreements identifying the roles of the VSA and the local partner Documentation shared with local partners on the organisation’s planning processes General operating policies and procedures identifying role of local partners Feedback from local partners on draft programme plans/designs Meeting minutes, emails, letters, and other forms of communication with local partners relating to programme planning

Timeline

Not attained


Principle 2

Our organisation provides potential volunteers with accurate and independent information about the organisation and volunteer placements. Rationale

Accurate information about the organisation and the placements it provides help to ensure that volunteers are fully informed and can make the best decisions about whether, where and with which VSA to volunteer. Providing potential volunteers with independent resources on volunteering overseas encourages informed decision-making and the best possible placements for the volunteer and for the partner community. For example, access to returned volunteers can assist potential volunteers in their decision making and ideally enable them to learn more about their host country and placement.

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Core Indicator 3

2.1: We provide fair and balanced information about placements we offer.

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Fully attained

Substantially attained

Partially attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator. (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Person responsible

Timeline

Possible evidence includes Website screenshots or links detailing key placement information, including an overview of the volunteer role(s) and detailing any programme costs Copy of information pack sent in response to queries about volunteering opportunities Copies of documentation distributed and evidence of how and at what stage of the process this is communicated to the potential volunteer • key placement information • an overview of the volunteer roles • programme costs


2.2: We provide fair and balanced information about our organisation.

Fully attained

Substantially attained

Partially attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes

Person responsible

Timeline

Website screenshots or links detailing: • key organisational information • overview of the organisational values and aims • organisation status (e.g. charity, company, trust) • evidence of registration/ compliance with organisational and governance standards (eg Dóchas Irish Development NGOs Code of Corporate Governance, ICTR statement of guiding principles on fundraising) Copy of information pack sent in response to queries about volunteering opportunities and evidence of how and at what stage of the process this is communicated to the potential volunteer

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Core Indicator 4 28

2.3: We offer volunteers additional information about volunteering, including its place within international development.

Fully attained

Substantially Partially attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes

Person responsible

Timeline

Screenshots showing: • VSA’s website with Comhlámh Signatory Logo and links to the Comhlámh website and Comhlámh Volunteer Charter are clearly visible • Links on the VSA’s website to other sources of information about volunteering nationally and internationally Information pack sent in response to queries about volunteering opportunities Documentation showing that volunteers are told about Comhlámh’s services to volunteers before they go overseas Volunteer training materials showing Comhlámh’s Volunteer Charter, Learning Journal and other appropriate resources are used to focus on development education/ international development issues from initial contact stages and throughout volunteer programme Briefing notes for staff that provide guidance on Comhlámh services and other providers of information on volunteering Records of staff participation in training on volunteering and development (eg, Comhlámh train the trainer programme) Programme outlines, emails, training manuals etc. showing that returned volunteers and members of diaspora communities contribute to training and/or information events


2.4: We provide potential volunteers with unmediated access to former volunteers (subject to data protection regulations and consent).

Fully attained

Substantially Partially attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes

Person responsible

Timeline

Evidence that the VSA keeps a database of returned volunteers who are willing to engage with potential volunteers through a variety of media including face to face and on-line Documented procedures/records for facilitating contact between outgoing volunteers and returned volunteers Programmes outlines, emails, training manuals etc. showing that returned volunteers are invited to speak at training or at information events

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Principle 3

Our organisation uses equitable, consistent and transparent recruitment and application procedures Rationale

Standardised selection procedures which are made clear to volunteers from the outset, and selection criteria that are justifiable, fair and equitable, are essential for effective and efficient selection and recruitment of volunteers. Rigorous selection procedures are also a key tool in the effective screening of volunteers in relation to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

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3.1: We have written guidelines and procedures that set out how volunteers are recruited and/or selected.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator. (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes

Person responsible

Timeline

Documents showing how the VSA responds to candidates regarding their selection process (e.g., emails, letters, template for responding to candidates, etc.). Clear explanations of volunteer role, noting expectation of ongoing post-return engagement, are available to potential volunteers prior to decision making process Copies of, or links to • Recruitment or selection guidelines - for both online and onsite volunteers • Written guidelines and procedures and clear explanations of volunteer roles available to potential volunteers explaining the recruitment and selection process and evidence of how and at what stage of the process these are communicated to potential volunteer • Written guidelines and procedures explaining the recruitment and selection process. Including expectation of ongoing post-return engagement and evidence of how and at what stage of the process this is communicated to the potential volunteer Experience, professional development and training of those responsible for recruiting volunteers showing them to be suitability qualified for the role

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Core Indicator 5

3.2: We assess potential volunteers against clear criteria which outline the knowledge, skills and attributes required of volunteers for particular roles.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Possible evidence includes

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of, or links to, • volunteer role profiles outlining: knowledge, skills and attributes required for onsite volunteers , on-line volunteers and Irish-based administrative volunteers and evidence of how and at what stage of the process this is communicated to the potential volunteer • sample application forms and/or interview records which incorporate screening questions asking about skills, experience, work with children and vulnerable adults Experience, professional development and training of those responsible for recruiting volunteers showing them to be suitability qualified for the role

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3.3: We provide guidelines on recruitment practices to those responsible for recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers that protect volunteers and partner communities.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Possible evidence includes

Person responsible

Timeline

Guidelines on safe recruitment practices provided to those responsible for recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers Copies of or links to VSA’s policy and guidance on: • how to screen applicants • criteria for screening potential volunteers (e.g., for health, child and vulnerable adult safeguarding needs/risks, safeguarding of the local community, etc ) • training plan/induction for people involved in recruitment

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3.4: Our recruitment policies are fully compliant with Irish Equality Legislation and reflect a commitment to promoting best practice in equality, inclusivity and diversity.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copy of or link to organisation’s: • diversity and equality policy • recruitment and advertising strategies Record of VSA personnel participation in training on equality and diversity Extracts from the VSAs recruitment procedures reflecting a commitment to promote inclusion, equality and diversity and showing compliance with the values and intent of Irish Equality Legislation

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Principle 4

Our organisation ensures that volunteers participate in appropriate preparation, training and induction. Rationale

VSAs should provide appropriate and useful training for volunteers in order for the volunteer to provide the most effective service to the partner community and to ensure that the volunteer gains the most from the volunteering experience. Input and feedback from local partners is regarded as an important factor in the design, review and delivery of volunteer training supports. Training should be seen as part of a continuum of support spanning: pre-decision, pre-departure, in-country and post-return and can be effectively delivered through development education methodologies. Training can be provided in-house, by outside agencies, or by a mixture of both.

35


Core Indicator 6 36

4.1: We have clear guidelines for volunteer preparation, training and induction.

Fully attained

Substantially Partially attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator. (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or link to • guidelines on volunteer preparation, training and induction for all on-line, administrative and overseas volunteers including Volunteer Charter and Learning Journal • training and induction manuals used by staff or external provider • volunteer manual • in-country orientation materials • post-return and ongoing training materials Experience, professional development and training of those responsible for delivering training showing them to be suitability qualified for the role


Core indicator 7 37

4.2 We provide comprehensive preparation, training and induction to volunteers utilizing appropriately skilled, qualified and experienced personnel.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Training agenda, training manual/programme including: country specific information, supports available whilst on placement , cultural awareness/ intercultural learning, safeguarding of children and vulnerable persons, development education, use of images and messages in social media, health and safety; specific adaptations to training delivered to on-line volunteers and methods of delivery for remote on-line volunteers Copy of or link to: • Records of staff participation in ongoing professional development related to volunteer training and induction • Documentation designating a person responsible for reviewing training and support needs of volunteers as part of the annual planning process • Documents shared with local partners on the training volunteers receive from VSA • Extracts from volunteer training manual showing guidelines on protection of financial interests, motivations and expectations. • Extracts from training material relating to application of knowledge/training to overseas programme for volunteers with specialist skills Detail of involvement of diaspora communities and/or returned volunteers in training provision


4.3: We brief our volunteers to ensure they understand organisational policies and procedures specific to their role.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Records to show policies/ guidelines are understood and signed by all volunteers: • child/vulnerable adult safeguarding • safety and security • gift-giving • insurance requirements • safe and ethical fundraising requirements • accommodation arrangements • appropriate use of technology including references to use of email, digital cameras, websites, internet, social media etc • medical/fitness certification and travel arrangements including visa requirements

38

Timeline

Not attained


4.4: We support local partners to provide training and induction to volunteers.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Copy of training and induction programmes used by local partners Attendance list indicating volunteer’s participation in induction and briefing provided by local partners Feedback from volunteers on the training or induction they received from local partners Feedback from local partners on successes and challenges in carrying out training and induction

39

Timeline

Not attained


Principle 5

Our organisation provides sufficient resources to local partners to run sustainable volunteer programmes. Rationale

Resources provided to the partner community should be sufficient to ensure that programmes are well-run and offer a consistent level of support, which facilitates local partners’ growth in a sustainable manner. Resources including finances, human resources (both paid staff and volunteers), logistics/equipment and support in-kind should be provided consistently and budgeted for in multi-annual programmes. Budgets should also cover the training of local partner staff to allow them to provide services to local communities outside their volunteer programmes.

40


Core Indicator 8

5.1: Our programme plans and budgets explicitly note how resources and support are provided to local partners.

41

Fully attained

Substantially attained

Partially attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Copies of annual programme plans, reports, tenders or budgets that outline resources and supports provided to local partners Extracts from annual programme plans, reports, tenders or budgets that outline/ demonstrate: • measures to ensure that funds are spent efficiently • efforts to make projects more sustainable • support for the local economy • transfer of skills and use of local talent • support for training of volunteers in-country Copies of annual programme plans, reports, tenders or budgets that outline/ demonstrate • training needs of local partners, and plans to address these needs • volunteer placements targeted at capacity development of local partners

Timeline


5.2: Our programme plans and budgets focus on the sustainability of the local partner organisation and the volunteer programme.

Fully Substantially attained attained

Partially attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Programme agreements and/or MOUs • addressing VSA commitments measured against partner organisation’s expectation • identifying steps taken to deliver programmes consistently when volunteer numbers and capacity may be inconsistent from year to year Extracts from plans clearly articulating the specific role of online volunteers in supporting sustainable programming

42

Not attained


5.3: Our programme plans and budgets explicitly note how resources and support are provided to volunteers.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Extracts from annual programme plans and budgets that detail: • resources and pre-departure supports provided to volunteers (including cost of trainings, materials, facilitators, etc.); • resources and in-country supports provided to volunteers • resources and supports provided to volunteers on return (including costs of debriefing, follow-up, counselling, continuous engagement opportunities, etc) Copies of documentation communicating this information to volunteers.

43


Principle 6

Our organisation takes all practicable steps to ensure the protection, safety and well-being of volunteers and the communities they work with. Rationale

The provision of programmes that are safe for both participants and partner communities should be a priority for all VSAs. Programmes should focus on the overall wellbeing of the volunteer and people within the partner community and identify and address specific hazards and risks associated with particular aspects of the programme.

44


Core Indicator 9 45

6.1: Our programme plans include written assessments of security, travel and health risks specific to the country or region.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Not attained

The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator. (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or links to • risk assessment and management procedures and protocols • evacuation plan • policies/guidelines relating to safety and security • policies/guidelines relating to personal health and evidence of how and at what stage of the process these are communicated to the potential volunteer Record of written assessment of security, travel and health risks for each placement and schedule for review Signed documentation indicating that volunteers are aware of the security, travel and health risks before they embark on trip Names and role of personnel in crisis management team and record of contact details shared


6.2: We maintain records of placementrelated injuries, sickness, accidents and fatalities, which are monitored to help assess and reduce further risk to volunteers.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Copies of or links to template for keeping records of placement-related health difficulties Sample file of past placement-related incidents and actions taken Links to documents detailing actions taken in response to learning from prior incidents

46

Person responsible

Timeline

Not attained


6.3: We inform volunteers of the need for relevant medical and travel insurance, whether organised through us or by the volunteers themselves.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Copies of or links to • information provided for volunteers stating that medical insurance is compulsory for volunteer placements • VSA’s policy on travel insurance, including the need for health and emergency evacuation cover • Outline of referral system to relevant service providers Evidence of how and at what stage of the process these are communicated to the potential volunteer

47

Timeline

Not attained


6.4: We request a certificate of fitness to travel, references and other appropriate background checks from all volunteers.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Copies of or links to procedures for • getting certificates of fitness • seeking references • processing Garda vetting and evidence of how and at what stage of the process this is communicated to the potential volunteer Detail of system for secure filing and storage of volunteer medical certificates, references and other related confidential materials

48

Timeline

Not attained


Core Indicator 10

6.5: We have comprehensive safeguarding guidelines and disciplinary procedures in place for inappropriate behaviour of staff, volunteers or other personnel relating to children and vulnerable adults.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or links to: • policies relating to child/vulnerable adult safeguarding providing evidence that children/vulnerable adults are adequately supervised and protected at all times • procedures for reporting concerns related to the safeguarding of children /vulnerable adults • safeguarding guidelines signed by staff, volunteers and representatives • discipline and grievance policies which includes clearly outlined consequences for breaching guidelines • distribution list showing how safeguarding guidelines are disseminated to volunteers and local partners

49


Core Indicator 11 50

6.6: We have appointed designated contact persons for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or links to • name and duties of those people with special responsibility for child/vulnerable adult safeguarding in the organisation • CVs, certificates, qualifications, etc., showing that personnel with special responsibilities for protecting children are provided with comprehensive training on handling complaints and implementing disciplinary procedures • Outline of child safeguarding training received by key personnel • Lists of contacts for specialist advice, information, and reporting on child/vulnerable adult safeguarding


6.7: We engage with local partners on child and vulnerable adult safeguarding issues to ensure common agreements, mutual learning and development of good practice.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or links to documentation showing: • the VSA and local partners’ partnership agreement addressing the safeguarding of children/vulnerable adults • local partner’s relevant child/vulnerable adult safeguarding policy • that the VSA has provided assistance to local partners in developing child/vulnerable adult safeguarding policy & practice where none are in place

51

Not attained


6.8: All incidents, complaints and concerns related to the safeguarding of children/ vulnerable persons during the year are integrated into our planning in subsequent years.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or links to planning documents demonstrating how recorded incidents, complaints and allegations are incorporated into revised programme plans

52

Not attained


Principle 7

Our organisation provides comprehensive and effective debriefing for returned volunteers Rationale

Personal debriefing is an important part of any volunteer placement. It allows volunteers to reflect on their experiences, develop their own understanding and readjust to being at home. Operational debriefing gives the VSA and the partner community the opportunity to learn from the experiences of returned volunteers and utilise this knowledge in the design and delivery of future programmes.

53


7.1 We ensure that relevant staff receive training in debriefing and reorientation, or that debriefing is sourced externally

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Not attained

The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator. (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or links to agency’s debriefing procedures Record of attendance at Comhlåmh (or other provider) training for staff who will be facilitating debriefs and credentials of debriefing training provider Copies of or links to agency’s procedures for support and supervision of debriefers Policy on separation of responsibility for personal and operational debriefing between different organisational personnel Policy on providing/ facilitating debriefing for partner organisation staff

54


Core Indicator 12 55

7.2: We conduct operational debriefings at the end of volunteer placements to inform future programme development.

Fully attained

Substantially attained

Partially attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or links to • guidelines on operational debriefing • the questionnaire, list of questions, or template used to debrief volunteers. • qualifications and experience of internal personnel responsible for providing debriefing • record of utilizing Comhlámh debriefing services and/or credentials of external debriefing training provider • evidence of returned volunteers opting out of de-briefing and reasons for doing so • the debriefing schedule and activities shared with volunteers (in emails, information pack, volunteer manual, etc.). • evidence of impact of feedback from debriefings on future programme planning, eg annual reports, revised operational plans etc

Not attained


Core Indicator 13 56

7.3: We ensure that all volunteers are provided with personal and/or group debriefing at the end of their placement.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Copies of or links to • VSA’s guidelines on personal and/or group debriefing • qualifications and experience of internal personnel responsible for providing debriefing • record of utilizing Comhlámh debriefing services and/or credentials of external debriefing training provider • schedule and activities shared with volunteers (in emails, information pack, volunteer manual, etc.) • schedule of group debriefing and attendance records • evidence of returned volunteers opting out of de-briefing and reasons for doing so • protocols for providing critical incident debriefings

Timeline

Not attained


7.4: We provide returned volunteers with access to additional support where required.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Copies of or links to • use of Comhlámh debriefing, re-orientation, counselling , critical incident support services and Coming Home book • list of the VSA’s external contacts that provide debriefing or reorientation for returned volunteers • list of external personnel / agencies providing counselling, critical incident stress management and other supports • procedures for providing referrals for counselling and critical incident debriefing

57

Timeline

Not attained


Principle 8

Our programme development is informed by ongoing monitoring and evaluation. Rationale

Monitoring and evaluation are important means of measuring the effectiveness of any programme. The learning from monitoring and evaluation should be utilised in programme improvements, design and development of future programmes, and as a key aspect of organisational learning.

58


8.1: We undertake regular monitoring and evaluation of volunteers’ experiences in our programmes.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Not attained

The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator. (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or links to • monitoring and evaluation forms or other methodologies used to capture volunteers’ experiences during and after placements • documents used to gather feedback from Irish-based administrative volunteers and on-line volunteers, where relevant • minutes from or notes taken at operational debriefings or reorientation events (with respect to data protection and confidentiality) • documents showing long-term tracking of volunteers’ ongoing involvement in development/ global justice issues

59


Core Indicator 14 60

8.2: We use feedback from monitoring and evaluation processes to inform annual planning and programme revision.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Programme agreements/MOUs between VSA and local partners focusing on the impacts of monitoring and evaluation processes Copies of or links to documentation that demonstrates: • monitoring and evaluation procedures of the volunteer programme • evaluation of the programme to ensure that volunteer role, profiles and placements remain appropriate, useful and achievable • the VSA regularly reviews the structure of the volunteer programme • the VSA regularly reviews the role, profile and placement of the volunteer • the VSA regularly reviews the volunteer programme with the local partner • the VSA reviews the management of volunteers • the VSA reviews volunteer activities • the changes that have taken place from review of volunteer programme • the preparation, training, and induction programmes are regularly reviewed by the VSA Examples of how feedback from local partners and/or communities has impacted on programme design and annual planning

Not attained


8.3: Local partners participate in the evaluation of our volunteer programmes and placements.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Feedback from local partners on: • the structure of the volunteer programmes • the volunteers’ role, profile and placement including the contribution of online volunteers, where relevant • Their working relationship with the VSA Copies of or links to minutes from meetings with local partners discussing: • volunteer management • volunteer activities and/or roles Copies of or links to evaluation forms or other notes from local partners relating to the monitoring of volunteer placements

61

Timeline

Not attained


Principle 9

Our organisation supports volunteers to understand the wider context of development in which volunteering is taking place, and encourages continued learning and engagement. Rationale

Overseas volunteering can be the starting point for a deeper and longer term engagement in development. There is opportunity to challenge volunteers to think beyond the placement overseas and to understand the wider context of global injustice and poverty. Volunteers should be supported to find their individual and collective next steps on return through further education and support and by providing opportunities to continue engagement.

62


Core Indicator 15 63

9.1: We provide volunteers with information and support prior to, during and after placement on how they can further contribute to global development.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Not attained

The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator. (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of links and/to or screen shots of • extracts from initial training/ induction pack detailing development education/ global development context/ global justice component • VSA’s website highlighting development education/ global justice issues • procedures for signposting returnees to opportunities to stay engaged in development/justice issues from home • signposting to Comhlámh supports for returned volunteers, Coming Home Book and development education programmes and activities • list of opportunities, trainings, courses, etc. to which returnees have been signposted • tracking sheet showing returned volunteers’ engagement in local or global development issues • record of volunteers’ participation in Global Citizen Award


9.2: We provide volunteers with resources to support their personal learning and critical reflection on the overseas volunteer experience.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or links to • learning journal template provided to volunteers • blog post or similar written by volunteers detailing their engagement and reflection • outlines of in-country workshops and learning programmes delivered by or in partnership with host community • outline of VSA’s post-return training on continuous engagement • Comhlámh supports for returned volunteers and development education programmes and activities • list of post-return activities for volunteers – campaigns, events, social media engagement, meeting with other volunteers, presentations to potential volunteers, further courses • signposting to ongoing learning providers • accreditation or award eg Global Citizen Award, Erasmus+ Youthpass or university volunteer/ engagement awards, or other accreditation resulting from their volunteering

64


Principle 10

Our organisation accepts and celebrates the diversity and individuality of our volunteers and assists and provides for their varying support needs. Rationale

By being open to volunteers from all sectors of society, including marginalised and excluded groups, and by encouraging different types of volunteering, such as southnorth, reciprocal, diaspora and online engagement, the VSA will best be able to provide the most suitable and useful volunteers for the partner community. VSAs should understand that different volunteers may require additional supports throughout the volunteering experience, from pre-recruitment to post return.

65


Core Indicator 16 66

10.1: We have written guidelines which outline support services that volunteers can expect, including any in-country support provided.

Fully attained

Substantialy attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Partially attained

Not attained

The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator. (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copy of written policy/guidelines outlining • in-country supports • supports for online volunteers • supports available upon return Examples of ways in which these policies are advertised to volunteers (e.g., through websites, brochures and other publications) Copy of volunteer manual/handbook outlining supports available


10.2: We show a commitment to inclusion of all volunteers and encourage applications from potential volunteers from diverse backgrounds, experiences and circumstances.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copy of or links to VSA’s recruitment procedures demonstrating an openness to placing any volunteer with specific needs overseas Screenshots or links to website/documentation showing • VSA openly recruiting inclusively for all available positions including onsite, online, Irish based administrative, diaspora, reciprocal and south-north volunteering • targeted advertising, marketing and recruitment focused on under-represented groups • targeted fundraising support for under-represented groups • specific support packages for volunteers from under-represented groups Copy of correspondence with overseas partners demonstrating an understanding of the capacity limitations of partner to support specific needs Examples of how volunteers are informed about the local context they will encounter in the project location and how that will relate to their specific needs

67

Not attained


10.3: Relevant personnel receive training in assessing and supporting the diverse needs of volunteers.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of or links to documentation showing continuum of support through induction, placement, debriefing and beyond Qualification or CV demonstrating experience of relevant staff Evidence of VSA personnel undertaking training in inclusion and working with marginalised groups (eg minority ethnic groups, diaspora, older persons, people with disabilities, members of LGBT community) • staff training attendance • training manual Documentation designating a person responsible for reviewing training and support needs of volunteers as part of the annual planning process.

68


10.4: Our volunteers are informed about how to protect their financial interests while overseas.

Fully attained

Substantially attained

Partially attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copy of or link to • Links to Comhlámh supports on Irish social welfare and pensions • Information given to volunteers about protecting their financial interests within the Irish social welfare and pensions eg distribution of Comhlámh Supports and Services for Overseas Volunteers leaflet • Examples of how volunteers are informed about budgeting, banking, monetary spending habits and protecting their financial interests in their country of destination (eg, links to Comhlámh website and how these are shared with volunteers)

69


10.5: We provide access to ongoing mentoring and support for volunteers throughout their placements and beyond, if required.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Details of local partner/contact available to brief volunteers prior to departure Details of diaspora community members involved in mentoring volunteers Written outline of how mentoring/support services for volunteers operate and copy of or link to supporting documentation Details of focal point/mentor designated to provide continuous assistance to volunteers during their placement Details of training in dealing with incidents and accidents and records of personnel who have undertaken such training Template of learning journal

70

Timeline


Core Indicator 17

10.6: We recognise volunteers’ contributions and provide volunteers with a certificate, statement of service, or a reference letter upon request.

71

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Photos, records of attendance, etc. from recognition ceremonies that are held for volunteers Newsletter, archived website information, etc. acknowledging the contribution volunteers have made while overseas Sample certificates Sample statement of service Sample reference letter

Timeline


Principle 11

Our organisation provides and promotes messages and imagery consistent with good practice, and clear expressions of organisational aims, ethos and values. Rationale

It is important that VSAs make realistic claims about their programmes, and do not overplay the extent to which volunteers can ‘make a difference’ to the lives of the people in the local communities. By being clear about their aims, values and ethos, VSAs will also help volunteers to see whether they are in agreement with them. It is also important to ensure that local partners and communities are portrayed in an honest, positive and balanced manner.

72


Core Indicator 18 73

11.1: We have developed and implemented guidelines on good practice relating to messaging and imagery which ensure that the local community is portrayed accurately and not put at risk, sensationalised or stereotyped.

Fully attained

Substantially attained

Partially attained

Not attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation; outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator. (Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Signatory to the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages Copy of VSA’s guidelines regarding external communication which reflects the principles of the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images & Messages Examples of VSA’s use of imagery in materials that reflect the Dóchas guidelines and volunteer understanding of Comhlámh’s social media guidelines Record of staff participation in training on the use of images Documentation that shows volunteers are made aware of the VSA’s imagery policy including use of images on social media Extracts from fundraising information given to volunteers detailing guidance on the use of images and messaging consistent with the VSA’s policy Copy of VSA’s guidelines on message and imagery shared with suppliers (e.g., graphic designers); Copy of feedback from local partners on the VSA’s use of marketing and imagery


11.2: Our materials clearly reflect the aims, ethos and values of the VSA, including our concern for the well-being of the local community.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016 Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Screen shots or links to messaging used in primary promotional media (e.g., website, social media, blogs etc) Copies of additional printed promotional materials (e.g., flyers, advertisements) Extracts from strategy documents (e.g., strategic plan) reflecting vision, mission and strategic objectives consistent with messaging and imagery policy.

74

Not attained


11.3: The volunteer’s role description is clearly and simply stated in all promotional materials and is realistic about what the placement may achieve.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Possible evidence includes:

Person responsible

Timeline

Copies of screenshots or links to • volunteer’s role description • promotional materials encouraging realistic volunteer expectations • returned volunteer testimonials/stories and evidence of how and at what stage of the process this is communicated to the potential volunteer and evidence of how and at what stage of the process this is communicated to the potential volunteer

75

Not attained


11.4: We consult with local partners about promotional materials we use. Local partners are given an opportunity to review and enhance promotional materials.

Fully Substantially Partially attained attained attained

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator

Progress made in this area since 2014 Priority actions in this area for 2016

Possible evidence includes:

Documents showing local partners’ feedback on promotional materials Minutes or other records from meetings with local partners regarding promotional materials Examples of the incorporation of this feedback into updated promotional materials

76

Person responsible

Timeline

Not attained


We confirm that the 2015 version of the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice self-audit and Volunteer Sending Agency Information 2015 has been filled out accurately and is a true reflection of the level of implementation of the principles and indicators within our organisation. Self-Audit Participants (names):

(role) (role) (role)

Director/Board Member’s signature

Date self-audit completed

(A hard copy of page 16-21 and page 78 should be signed and returned to Comhlámh by December 1st annually

Self-Audit Checklist Read Introduction and Guidelines (Part 1) Complete the Volunteer Sending Agency Information 2015 chart (Section 2 Pages 15-20) and send a signed copy (page 77) to Volunteer Quality Programme Officer, Comhlámh, 12 Parliament Street, Dublin 2. Fill out all cells in the evidence Indicator Tables (Section 3 page 21-76) Email an electronic copy of the completed self-audit to philip@comhlamh.org by 1 December 2015.

77

Email or post evidence to Philip@comhlamh.org if the VSA self-assesses itself as having met ALL 18 core indicators or 38 indicators (including 18 core indicators)


78


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition

How to complete the CoGP

The principles and indicators have been organised

self-audit tool

programme life cycle, and it is advised that the self-

to reflect their relevance to different stages of the auditors complete the self-audit process on an

The self-auditors

ongoing basis, following the life cycle of the

Ideally the self-audit should be completed by at least two individuals. The perspective of multiple persons allows for richer feedback, provides greater understanding of internal processes and procedures, enables discussions to take place, identifies future areas of work to be undertaken, and gleans the perspectives of different individuals within the organisation. A key member of staff, or volunteer with a thorough knowledge of the VSA, should lead the self-audit process with support

volunteer programme. The length of time required to complete the selfaudit will depend on several key factors: • • • •

from other staff or volunteers who have day-to-day knowledge of specific aspects of the volunteer programme. One of the self-auditors should be programme.

The completion time can be reduced if all relevant

Additional contributors (to the document in part or

staff members participate in the process to ensure

in

manager,

full and complete information is available. For

programme director, board member, financial

future submissions, the process will be more

administrator, development education coordinator,

efficient if good records are maintained, as many of

communications manager and, if possible, your

the indicators will remain the same year-on-year.

responsible its

for

entirety)

local partner(s).

79

whether the document has been submitted in previous years the number of people inputting into the document the accessibility of the documents and records the availability and length of time required to liaise with other staff members the size of the organisation and its programme(s).

the could

volunteer include

a

Submitting evidence with the self-audit Submitting evidence along with the self-audit is only required if an organisation has assessed itself as having met all core indicators and/or 85% of all indicators. If all core indicators are not met, VSAs are not required to submit evidence. Volunteer Sending Agency Information This information is collected in order to learn more about the current status and activity of each VSA. The information provided gives Comhlámh a better understanding of the kind of work undertaken by the organisation and the profile of volunteers. Additionally, it allows us to collate sector-wide volunteering trends and compile a boarder picture of international volunteering trends in Ireland. It is very important that all fields of this information sheet are completed; do not leave any reporting areas blank. If the self-auditors are unsure of what kind of information is being requested, please contact the Volunteering Quality Project Officer. If the self-auditors do not have access to the kinds of information being requested, please make note of it by writing ‘information


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition for each stage of the volunteering cycle.

an explanation, please insert a comment providing

The self-audit tool outlines 44 indicators that cover all

clarification.

eleven principles of the Code of Good Practice. An

Once all self-audits have been received from VSAs,

indicator is a statement containing quantifiable

the information will be aggregated and analysed to

measures that show whether the principle has been

generate an overview of the work being carried out

implemented within the organisation. The number of

If a VSA is assessed as having met all core indicators,

by all signatories to the CoGP. Aside from external

indicators varies for each principle. The purpose of

the organisation will be required to submit evidence

auditors and the Recommendation Panel, specific

completing the indicator tables is to allow the agency

relating to the core indicators to Comhlámh. In this

information relating to each VSA will not be shared

to determine if specific aspects of their programme

case, VSAs are asked to submit as many pieces of

with

statistical

are effectively being met in their organisation. The

evidence that they feel sufficiently support each

information of all VSAs will be shared within the CoGP

self-auditor(s) is required to identify evidence which

indicator being met Thus, if an organisation has six

network whilst respecting the anonymity of each

shows each indicator is an active part of their

forms of evidence that support an indicator being in

organisation.

agency’s volunteer programme.

place, they do not need to submit all six pieces of

Code of Good Practice principles and indicator tables

The self-audit process will enable organisations, their

other

parties.

The aggregated

In becoming a signatory to the Code of Good Practice, a volunteer sending agency is making a commitment to implementing good practice in their work. The CoGP sets out 11 different principles that incorporate

80

indicators are eligible for Core Indicator Status.

unavailable’. If the answer is complex and requires

management and staff to see how well policies and practice

have

been

developed

within

their

organisation and to identify outstanding areas where further development should take place.

all aspects of volunteer programme management,

Core Indicators:

from initial programme design to continued volunteer

Eighteen of the 44 indicators have been identified as

engagement upon return.

‘core indicators’. This set of core indicators has been

The rationale justifying

each principle is outlined alongside each principle

identified as being essential to every volunteer

Training and other resources to assist VSAs to

programme.

complete the self-audit have been collated together

Organisations showing compliance with all core

Organisations that can demonstrate that they have implemented all the core indicators as outlined by the CoGP will be formally recognised for doing so by the Recognition Panel.

evidence; rather, they may submit two or three pieces of evidence that are of high quality and that should serve to sufficiently demonstrate that the indicator is being met. If additional documents are required, the organisation will be contacted by the Volunteering Quality Project Officer. Comprehensive Compliance Organisations showing compliance with 85% or more of all indicators (38/44 indicators) are eligible for the Comprehensive Compliance Status.

Organisations

that can demonstrate that they have implemented 38 or more of the indicators (including the core


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition indicators) as outlined by the CoGP will be formally

recognised for doing so by the Recognition Panel. If a VSA is assessed as having met 38 or more indicators,

including

all

core

indicators,

the

organisation will be required to submit evidence

relating to each indicator to Comhlámh. The

process for this is the same as for the core indicators, as set out above.

Completing the indicator tables involves the following steps:

Step 1

Each indicator is stated in large font (white on red at the top of the table on each page). Self-auditors must determine if the organisation can show evidence for that indicator being active within their organisation. For each indicator the self-auditor must determine whether the indicator is •

Fully attained: specific evidence is available to show that this indicator is fully operational within the organisation

Substantially attained: specific evidence is available to show that this indicator is operational within the organisation. Although the indicator is substantially in place, some (usually small) developments in policy and/or practice are required before the indicator is fully attained. Partially attained: evidence is available to show that this indicator is partially operational within the organisation (but not complete). This status is broad in range and could indicate significant progress towards fully attained status, or that work has recently commenced in this area. Not attained: the organisation does not have specific evidence available to show that this indicator is operational within the organisation.

For evaluation purposes, it is very important that the self-auditors tick Fully attained, Substantially attained, Partially attained or Not attained. This area should not be left blank. Step 2

possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation; outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place or report other types of evidence that show compliance with the indicator. Locations of the evidence, eg within volunteer handbooks or web addresses should also be listed where possible. Providing information in as much detail as possible makes it easier for Comhlámh and the external auditor

to

understand

what

is

being

communicated, and it eliminates the need to contact the VSA to seek further clarification after the self-audit has been submitted. Possible Evidence In order to assist self-auditors, a list of suggested evidence that may show that an indicator has been met is listed for each indicator. This list should be

used as a support or guide only and is not expected to be an exhaustive list of the evidence available in

The self-auditor states under the column entitled

each organisation. The VSA will not be penalised or

‘Evidence to show attainment of this indicator’,

marked down if they do not have all suggested

what evidence exists within the organisation to

evidences in place.

show that the indicator is specifically being met

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The evidence listed should be as detailed as


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition Step 3

Troubleshooting

The section entitled ‘List progress made in this

If the self-auditors are having difficulty completing

area since 2014’ gives Comhlámh and the external

the self-audit, please contact Philip Mudge in

auditor an idea of what areas the VSA has worked

Comhlámh at 01-478-3490 for assistance or to

on and identifies targeted supports that could be

answer any queries.

provided to the organisation. This section also recognises areas in which the VSA has developed strengths and may therefore be in a position to share their learning with the wider CoGP network. Step 4

The final step in completing each table is to list the organisation’s targeted activities under the section entitled ’Priority actions in this area for 2016’ This space should be used to record areas to be addressed, identify areas of improvement and prioritise key areas to be worked on in the coming year. Implementing these changes can best be made if individuals are identified to carry out certain tasks within a specified time frame.

Submission of self-audit tool

Self-audits need to be emailed by 1 December annually. Self-audits can be submitted as a word document or through survey monkey. If submitting using the word document, the file should

be

submitted

by

to

Philip@comhlamh.org. The Survey Monkey file will be made available annually at the same time as the word file is distributed to signatory organisations A hardcopy of Section 2 ‘Volunteer Sending Agency Information’ should be signed and sent to: Philip Mudge, Volunteering Quality Project Officer, Comhlámh, 12 Parliament Street, Dublin 2. If submitting evidence, please email or post to the Volunteering Quality Project Officer.

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email


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition

Example of Completed indicator table Principle 1, Indicator 1: The VSA involves local partners in volunteer recruitment and selection.

Fully attained

Substantially attained

Partially attained

Not attained

Core Indicator 1

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation, outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place, or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator(Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

1 Partnership agreement with local organisation “Mochudi Village Council” and project evaluation report shows consultation and agreement with partner organisation on priority work areas for volunteers in summer 2015, optimum volunteer numbers and maximum numbers of volunteers that can be accommodated in the village at any time. www.organisation.ie/resourcesforvolunteers/partnershipagreement/mochudi (page 6-7) www.organisation.ie/evaluation (p23) 2 2013 Local Consultation Process (Mochudi) document shows local input into volunteer selection criteria. P8-9, (not available on line)

Progress made in this area since 2014

This year we have consolidated the partnership agreement and agreed to three-yearly review. We were successful in recruiting volunteers that were overall at 95% of optimal level, +/- no greater than 20% on any project and in no cases exceeded maximum accommodation for any project

Priority actions in this area for 2016

Person responsible

Timeline

Partnership agreement to be reviewed in 2016 (in line with 3 year cycle): Real-time, during placement data collection and recording for feedback on volunteer placements will inform future placements:

Programme manager On-site team leaders

April 2016 prior to summer placements During summer

placements Possible evidence includes:

Partnership agreements identifying the needs and roles for online and onsite volunteers in programme plans Documented key inter-partner communications relating to recruitment and selection of online and onsite volunteers Written feedback from local partners identify the needs and roles for volunteers in programme plans

83


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition List here the evidence in your organisation that shows you have fully or partially attained this indicator. You can list as much evidence as you require to show that your organisation has atatined the indicator

All the information that you are adding to this page relates to this indicator: is your organisation doing this, and do you have evidence to show it?

Principle 1, Indicator 1: The VSA involves local partners in volunteer recruitment and selection.

One of these three boxes must be ticked to show the organisation’s attainment of each indicator Fully attained

Substantially attained

Partially attained

Not attained

Core Indicator 1

Evidence to show attainment of this indicator The evidence listed should be as detailed as possible and should include the specific names of documents used by the organisation; outline the policies and procedures the organisation has in place or report other types of evidence that show attainment of the indicator(Suggested examples of evidence commonly found in agencies are listed below as a support)

Core indicators are 1 Partnership agreement with local organisation “Mochudi Village Council” and project evaluation report shows consultation and agreement shown by a black with partner organisation on priority work areas for volunteers in summer 2015, optimum volunteer numbers and maximum numbers of in the left volunteers that can be accommodated in the village at any time. www.organisation.ie/resourcesforvolunteers/partnershipagreement/mochudibar (page margin 6-7) www.organisation.ie/evaluation (p23)

2 2013 Local Consultation Process (Mochudi) document shows local input into volunteer selection criteria. P8-9, (not available on line) Progress made in this area since 2014

This year we have consolidated the partnership agreement and agreed to three-yearly review. We were successful in recruiting volunteers that were overall at 95% of optimal level, +/- no greater than 20% on any Detail here specific project and in no cases exceeded maximum accommodation for any project.

Priority actions in this area for 2016

Person responsible

Partnership agreement to be reviewed in 2016 (in line with 3 year cycle): Real-time, during placement data collection and recording for feedback on volunteer placements will inform future placements:

Programme manager On site team leaders

Possible evidence includes:

Partnership agreements identifying the needs and roles for online and onsite volunteers in programme plans Documented key inter-partner communications relating to recruitment and selection of online and onsitehere volunteers Detail specific changes Written feedback from local partners identify the needs and roles for volunteers in programme plans

This list of suggested evidence can help you to identify evidence within your organisation

84

developments related to this indicator in the April 2016 prior to past 12 months. It is summer placements During summer not expected that progress will have placements been made in all indicators each year

Timeline

that your organisation plans to make related to this indicator in the coming year. Spaces to show who is responsible for implementing this change and when should also be completed


Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies 2015 Edition

85


Training and Professional Development Comhlámh www.comhlamh.org Volunteering Overseas: Where Do I Start? Tailored pre-departure training courses for short-term volunteers. Skills in Development Education training course Online Pre-Decision course Online Pre-Departure training What Next? A Course for Returned Volunteers Moving Forward days Coming Home Weekends Training of Trainers on pre-departure, debriefing, coming home, and development education Annual training and capacity building programmes for VSAs – please contact for details Kimmage Development Studies Centre www.kimmagedsc.ie Kimmage DSC facilitates education and training for development practitioners working in a range of occupations from over 65 countries. Child Protection in Development Practice http://kimmagedsc.ie/child-protection-bond/ An Introduction to Child Safeguarding self directed online course http://kimmagedsc.ie/introduction-child-safeguarding-online-course/ Financial Management http://kimmagedsc.ie/full-time-study/financial-management/ Monitoring and Evaluation http://kimmagedsc.ie/monitoring-and-evaluation/ Understanding Development – evening course http://kimmagedsc.ie/events/understanding-development-eveningcourse/?gclid=CObBibaCyccCFQGD2wodG8IBeA

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Volunteering Ireland http://www.volunteer.ie/resources/ Volunteering Management Day-to-day Management of Volunteers Effective Recruitment and Selection of Volunteers Motivating Volunteers Volunteering Management Developing Your Volunteer Policy Volunteering Ireland Safeguard Programme—Garda vetting Mango

www.mango.org.uk

A UK-based agency that works to help aid agencies and NGOs to strengthen their financial management systems Carmichael Centre http://www.carmichaelcentre.ie/sectorsupports/training-and-consultancy Leadership & Governance training programme

Eurocheck Security Consultants

http://eurocheck.ie/

Security training and support to NGOs, charities and human rights workers throughout the world


Useful Resources General Support Comhlámh

http://issuu.com/comhlamh/docs/services_leaflett_small/1?e=9461339/1 3861175

www.comhlamh.org

Volunteer Charter comhlamh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Volunteer-Charter.pdf Working for a Better World: A Guide to Volunteering in Global Development What Next? A toolkit for returned Volunteers http://issuu.com/comhlamh/docs/what-next-toolkit Comhlámh’s Coming Home Training: A handbook for volunteer sending agencies http://issuu.com/comhlamh/docs/training_handbook_final Comhlámh’s Coming Home Book 2014 – a resource and guide for the returned volunteer. http://issuu.com/comhlamh/docs/comhlamh_coming_home_book_print

#VolOps: Sharing Volunteering Options LinkedIn group for discussion and posting on matters related to International volunteering http://bit.ly/1hiHtfI also checkout #volops on twitter and volops facebook page

We also provide support and guidance to organise counselling and personal debriefing. Contact ruth@comhlamh.org Dochas www.dochas.ie/ Standards of Excellence - Codes and Guidelines www.dochas.ie/standards-excellence-codes-and-guidelines Dochas Resources and Tools for NGOs www.dochas.ie/resources-andtools-ngos

Comhlámh Discussion Paper On Virtual Volunteering http://issuu.com/comhlamh/docs/comhl__mh_online_volunteering_pape r

Volunteer Ireland http://www.volunteer.ie/. Information about a wide range of volunteering opportunities in Ireland ‘Developing a Volunteer Policy’ guide

Comhlámh Discussion Paper on Diaspora Volunteering

Volunteer Ireland Awards www.volunteer.ie/events/volunteer-ireland-awards

http://issuu.com/comhlamh/docs/diaspora_volunteering_a_comhlamh_d i Support Services for overseas volunteers Our services for development workers and volunteers include provision of advice on social welfare entitlements and pensions.

Volunteering England www.volunteering.org.uk Sample volunteer role descriptions www.volunteering.org.uk/component/gpb/creatingvolunteerroles Volunteer Now

http://volunteernow.co.uk 87

NB these Resources and links were checked and accurate in August 2015. Please contact info@comhlamh.org with any corrections or additions


Useful Resources Good as they Give handbook advice on all aspects of introducing volunteers to their workplace including an induction checklist http://volunteernow.co.uk/fs/doc/publications/workbook3-managingand-motivating-volunteers-2013.pdf Fingal Volunteer Centre www.volunteerfingal.ie/ Volunteer Management Toolkit www.volunteerfingal.ie/index.php/resources/volunteer-mangement.html Know How Non Profit Hub www.knowhownonprofit.org Guide to writing volunteer job descriptions www.knowhownonprofit.org/people/volunteers/recruiting/writing

www.intrac.org/blog.php/63/ngo-exit-strategies-are-principles-forclosing-projects-or-ending-partnerships-necessary. The Big Lottery www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/ Guidelines for using funding and sustaining projects beyond funding www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/research/making-the-most-of-funding/exitstrategies-and-sustainability Manchester Metropolitan University www2.mmu.ac.uk/ Stakeholder analysis toolkit – aimed at Universities, but can be adapted for volunteer programmes www2.mmu.ac.uk/media/mmuacuk/content/documents/bit/Stakeholderanalysis-toolkit-v3.pdf

CHS Alliance/ People in Aid www.peopleinaid.org/resources/ Wide range of resources on volunteering and volunteer programmes

Resources for Choosing Volunteer Placements

The International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) http://forum-ids.org/ Wide range of published research on volunteering and volunteer programmes http://forum-ids.org/research

ComhlĂĄmh www.comhlamh.org #VolOps: Sharing Volunteering Options http://bit.ly/1hiHtfI LinkedIn group for #volops on twitter and volops Facebook page for all international volunteering placements

Programme Design and Development The Free Management Library www.managementhelp.org/ Information on Developing and Managing Volunteer Programmes INTRAC www.intrac.org Principles for developing project exit strategies

Ethical Volunteering. http://www.ethicalvolunteering.org/downloads/ethicalvolunteering.pdf International volunteering resource base: A flier to help volunteers choose a volunteer programme World Service Enquiry http://www.wse.org.uk/index.htm Information and career advice to people who want to volunteer or work in international development 88

NB these Resources and links were checked and accurate in August 2015. Please contact info@comhlamh.org with any corrections or additions


Useful Resources activelink the online network for Irish nonprofit organisations maintains a regularly updated list of volunteering opportunities http://www.activelink.ie/content/community-exchange/volunteering Irish Aid: Information on getting involved in international development www.irishaid.ie/get-involved/

Monitoring and Evaluation D贸chas The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. Resources on best practice on showing impact and results in development work www.dochas.ie/impact-and-results Charities Evaluation Service www.ces-vol.org.uk/tools-and-resources A range of resources on quality management including planning for monitoring and evaluation, outcomes and indicators and evaluation methods Your project and its outcomes www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/project_outcomes.pdf Minnesota Department of Human Services Measuring the Difference Volunteers Make: Guide to Outcome Evaluation for Volunteer Programme Managers http://www.volunteertoday.com/PDF/Measuring_the_Difference.pdf Volunteering England

www.volunteering.org.uk

Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit Volunteer Today www.volunteertoday.com A Canadian tool for measuring the impacts of volunteer programmes www.volunteertoday.com/PDF/Measuring_the_Difference.pdf

89 NB these Resources and links were checked and accurate in August 2015. Please contact info@comhlamh.org with any corrections or additions


Useful Resources Development Education and Continuing Engagement Comhlámh

www.comhlamh.org

Learning Journal available from info@comhlamh.org Engaging Returned Development Workers in Development Education http://issuu.com/comhlamh/docs/engaging_rdws_report_single From Volunteers to Active Citizens –a pan-EU collaborative publication on sharing best practice in development education in volunteering. http://issuu.com/comhlamh/docs/deep_manual_final_small_file/1?e=94 61339/13866156 What Next Toolkit: This resource guides returnees through a process of reflection and discusses the possibilities for continued engagement on development issues back in Ireland, whether through activism, campaigning or further education. http://comhlamh.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/09/What-Next-toolkit.pdf Be The Change: A Tool Kit For Taking Action Against Poverty and Injustice http://issuu.com/comhlamh/docs/bethechangeweb/1?e=9461339/53712 27

Volunteers as Multipliers for Development Education in Ireland http://www.comhlamh.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/09/March13_Multipliers_Report.pdf Learning Service learningservice.info/videos/video-3-returning-volunteer-experience/ Video for volunteers on making an impact after returning from your volunteering experience PARTNERS Ireland www.trainingfortransformation.ie/ ‘Partners Intercultural Companion to Training for Transformation. http://www.trainingfortransformation.ie/index.php/publications/publicat ions EIL Intercultural Learning http://www.eilireland.org Global Citizen Award is an initiative of EIL Intercultural Learning and supported by Irish Aid the Global Citizen Award can be offered by partner Volunteer Sending Agencies. http://www.eilireland.org/programme/global-citizen-award Education for Development Volunteer Management Manual which includes suggestions for interviewing and recruiting volunteers. http://comhlamh.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/10/Volunteer-Management-Manual-final-2.pdf

90 NB these Resources and links were checked and accurate in August 2015. Please contact info@comhlamh.org with any corrections or additions


Useful Resources Risk Management Volunteering England www.ivr.org.uk/images/stories/Institute-of-VolunteeringResearch/Migrated-Resources/Documents/O/On_the_safe_side-fullreport.pdf On the safe Side. Risk management and volunteering advice Institute of Volunteering www.ivr.org.uk/images/stories/Institute-of-VolunteeringResearch/Migrated-Resources/Documents/R/Risk_toolkit.pdf Risk Toolkit. How to take care of risk in volunteering: A guide for organisations

UK Charity Commission www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-and-risk-managementcc26/charities-and-risk-management-cc26 information on Charities and risk management

Health, Safety and Travel advice Department of Foreign Affairs Travel Advice - www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/ including Know Before You Go https://www.dfa.ie/travel/know-beforeyou-go/ and details of how to register before travelling. Foreign and Commonwealth Office www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo Know Before You Go Guidance for specific destinations

Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable People Department of Health & Children

www.dcya.gov.ie

Our Duty to Care: the Principles of Good Practice for the Protection of Children and Young People http://www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/publications/ODTC_Full_Eng.pdf Department of Children and Youth Affairs Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/Publications/ChildrenFirst.pdf Health Service Executive www.hse.ie Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse National Policy & Procedures www.hse.ie/eng/services/publications/corporate/personsatriskofabuse.p df Kimmage Development Studies Centre

www.kimmagedsc.ie

91 NB these Resources and links were checked and accurate in August 2015. Please contact info@comhlamh.org with any corrections or additions


Useful Resources Child Safeguarding Organisational Self Audit Tool Kit http://kimmagedsc.ie/keeping-children-safe/ Keeping Children Safe

www.keepingchildrensafe.org.uk

A coalition of aid and development agencies that work together to share a common approach to child protection, Keeping Children Safe has developed a range of resources and tools. Volunteer Now www.volunteernow.co.uk Guidelines for safeguarding vulnerable adults www.volunteernow.co.uk/training-and-standards/safeguardingvulnerable-adults-a-shared-responsibility The Code www.TheCode.org

Media and Communications Comhlámh

www.comhlamh.org

Comhlámh’s Guidelines for the use of Social Media in Volunteering. http://comhlamh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Social-MediaGuidelines.pdf Dóchas

www.dochas.ie

Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages www.dochas.ie/codeconduct-images-and-messages

Equality and Diversity

The Code is one of the most widely used codes of conduct and is targeted at protecting children against sexual exploitation

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (Equality www.ihrec.ie/ Authority)

Emergencies and Critical Incident Management

Information on Irish Equality and Human Rights legislation, policy and best practice.

CARE

http://www.care.org/

Critical Incident Protocol: Your Guide to Managing Critical Incidents http://comhlamh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Care-2009-CriticalIncident-Protocol.pdf International Committee of the Red Cross https://www.icrc.org/en Staying Alive: Safety and Security Guidelines for Humanitarian Volunteers in Conflict Areas https://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/publication/p0717.htm

Fundraising Institute of Fundraising

www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/

A Code of Practice for Fundraising www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/guidance/code-of-fundraisingpractice/guidance/accountability-and-transparency-guidance/ Irish Charities Tax Research Ltd Statement of guiding principles on fundraising http://www.ictr.ie/content/fundraising-codes-practice 92

NB these Resources and links were checked and accurate in August 2015. Please contact info@comhlamh.org with any corrections or additions


Useful Resources On-line Volunteering Jayne Cravens

www.coyotecom.com/

The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook www.energizeinc.com/store/last_virtual_volunteering_guidebook Irish aid/ UN Online volunteering opportunities www.onlinevolunteering.org/en/org/

93 NB these Resources and links were checked and accurate in August 2015. Please contact info@comhlamh.org with any corrections or additions


CoGP Signatory Agency Mentoring Programme Rationale Many volunteer sending agencies, particularly small volunteer-led organisations or those newly signed up to the Code, although fully committed to its principles, may find the process and requirements of compliance daunting. Comhlámh’s VQPO provides direct supports to signatories, including through training/capacity building, convening peer support meetings, and organising smaller issues-based meetings. We are now working to grow the peer support dimension of being a Code signatory, which will provide additional support for those organisations who have identified this need.

Definitions Mentor: an individual (or organisation) that is an experienced and trusted adviser offering support, encouragement and advise to an often less experienced individual (or organisation)

• •

• • •

A potential mentor organisation offers its services, either as a general or specific issue mentor, to the VQPO Potential mentees identify themselves and their needs to the VQPO who may proactively suggest mentoring partnerships based on issues or needs identified through self-audit review, external audit or desk based review processes) The VQPO matches mentees with suitable mentor organisation(s). Clear learning support goals are identified and agreed by mentor and mentee (with support if required from the VQPO) At completion/ termination of the mentoring relationship, mentor and mentee organisations will provide feedback to the VQPO on the learning, successes and any difficulties encountered through the mentoring relationship

Mentee: an individual (or organisation) that has identified specific learning or developmental goals and has reached out to a mentor for help in achieving these goals

The VQPO should be informed of any changes to length of mentoring relationship

Aim

The mentoring relationship will normally be for one calendar year, but can be terminated/ extended by agreement between mentor and mentee organisations

To develop formal mentoring links between CoGP signatory organisations and strengthen peer support amongst agencies

Criteria Any CoGP signatory organisation can apply to become a mentee organisation For general mentoring, signatory agencies that have attained core indicator or comprehensive compliance status may offer their services as a mentor organisation For specific issue mentoring, Comhlámh’s Volunteer Quality Project Officer (VQPO) will identify appropriate mentor organisations

Requirements

A named person within each mentor and mentee organisation commits to monthly semi-formal contact (by phone, email or similar) and two face-to-face meetings (normally during, or alongside Peer Support meeting) Mentoring relationships are confidential to the two organisations and the VQPO Specific topics discussed are confidential to the mentee and mentor (subject to normal/ mandatory disclosure requirements relating to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, etc)

Process The mentor programme is opened at November peer support meeting annually

The term mentor is inspired by the character of Mentor in Homer's Odyssey, given responsibility for the care and upbringing of Telemachus the son of Odysseus while his father was absent fighting in the Trojan wars

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Publicity and Promotion of The Comhlámh Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies. A copy of the current signed signatory statement (page 9 of this document) should be displayed prominently in each signatory organisation’s main place of business. Additional copies may be displayed in other places of business or distributed amongst partner organisations for your volunteer programmes. Organisations attaining Core Indicator Status or Comprehensive Compliance Status by the recognition panel are issued by Comhlámh with a certificate confirming their status. This certificate should be displayed prominently in the signatory organisation’s main place of business from the date of issue throughout the year of issue and until 1st September of the following year. Where the Core Indicator Status or Comprehensive Compliance Status is renewed for subsequent years, multiple certificates may be displayed at the organisation’s discretion.

Website and Social Media Protocols All signatory organisations are required to publicise the Code and their status as signatory organisations in all printed materials and electronic media related to their volunteer programmes. We ask that each organisation includes the CoGP logo and the following statement about the Code on their website:

=== Statement Begins === The Comhlámh Code of Good Practice (CoGP) for Volunteer Sending Agencies. [Insert organisational name] is a signatory of the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice (CoGP) for Volunteer Sending Agencies. The Code is a set of standards for organisations involved in facilitating international volunteer placements in the global south. [Linking to http://www.comhlamh.org/code-of-good-practice-2/ ] If you feel we are not adhering to the Code please contact us [Insert relevant contact link or email address] or info@comhlamh.org

=== Statement Ends ===

Embedding the Code of Good Practice Document on your Website. We also ask that each signatory organisation embed the Code itself to maximise exposure to it among the general public. Links/ code relating to the publicity and promotion of the code will be distributed to CoGP signatory organisations annually and can be obtained from Comhlámh on request In circumstances in which any organisation ceases to be a signatory to the CoGP, all documentation related to the Code must be removed from published materials and electronic media immediately.

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Glossary Continuous Engagement: This is what returned volunteers go on to do once they are home from an international placement. It can include involvement with their VSA or local organisations; participation in development education activities such as courses, action projects, awareness raising, and lobbying or bringing a global justice perspective into everyday life. Comprehensive Compliance Status: Any volunteer sending agency that is assessed by the Recognition Panel to have attained over 85% of the indicators, including the core indicators, is awarded Comprehensive Compliance Status. Core indicator: A number of indicators listed in the Code of Good Practice have been identified as the basic and essential structures that should be in place for an effective volunteer programme, and are deemed core indicators. If an organisation is assessed by the recognition panel as having achieved these core indicators, they will be formally recognised for doing so by Comhlamh. Debriefing: A process conducted by a volunteer sending agency or an external body focussing on the individual’s experience of volunteering overseas and aiming to help the returned volunteer integrate their experience into their life as a whole, perceive their volunteer experience more meaningfully, and bring a sense of closure. Personal debriefing is a person-centred approach that assists the volunteer to readjust to being at home, whereas operational debriefing looks at what was done well, what could have been done better and what changes should be made to a placement or programme. Desk-based review: A procedure carried out by an external consultant engaged by Comhlåmh on a 3-year cycle for signatories who have previously been externally audited. The consultant reviews

documentation provided by the VSA, communicates directly with the VSA, and issues a report assessing the VSA’s implementation of the CoGP including recommendations on how to improve programme practices. Evidence: Electronic or paper documentation supporting the attainment of the each specific indicator. Under each indicator chart is a list of suggested possible evidence which suggests what an organisation could show to support the indicator being attained. External Audit: This procedure, carried out by an external consultant, is primarily open to new signatory organisations. The consultant meets with VSA staff and reviews the policies and practices of the VSA in order to assess the extent to which the CoGP is being implemented. Special attention is given to the implementation of the core standards. The consultant makes concrete recommendations to the VSA and provides verbal and written feedback on how to improve programme practices. Indicator: Statements of practice which provide specific information on how each principle has been applied in the organisation. Partner Community: The local people that international volunteers and staff work and live with while undertaking their overseas placements. This could include local residents and beneficiaries of the volunteer project. The term host community is also used Partner Organisation: The organisation, community group, or formal body in the destination country that receives volunteers. The term host organisation is also used Peer Support Meeting: A CoGP network meeting that is held twice annually to enable VSAs to network with one another, and share sector and CoGP related information. Signatories to the CoGP are required to attend at least one of the two meetings in each calendar year.

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Glossary Principle: Eleven statements of good practice and fundamental belief which form the basic standards of the Code of Good Practice Self-Audit: This is the process of organisational review used in each signatory organisation to systematically assess the degree to which the CoGP is being implemented, outline key aspects of the volunteer programme, assess what resources are available, and identify areas that require additional development or resources. The self-audit tool comprising the 44 indicators and evidence presentation structures is contained in section 3 of this document Models of volunteer activity Engaging immigrants or individuals who have a familial tie or heritage in another country in a volunteering programme to their country (or region) of origin is known as Diaspora Volunteering Engaging for-profit sector employees in volunteering for a non-profit organisation or charitable cause with the support, facilitation or encouragement of their employer is known as Corporate Volunteering: Online volunteering activities are completed largely on a computer or other internet-connected device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Also known as virtual volunteering Volunteering in which people in the global south volunteer in other countries in the Global South is referred to as South-South Volunteering Volunteering in which volunteers from the global south volunteer in the global north and a corresponding placement from global north to the global south take place for mutual and shared development and learning is known as Reciprocal Volunteering 97


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Comhlamh's Code of Good Practice For Volunteer Sending Agencies  
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