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COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT Accompanying the document Proposal for a Regulation of the European Pariament and the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps

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52012SC0265

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT Accompanying the document Proposal for a Regulation of the European Pariament and the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps /* SWD/2012/0265 final */


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.      Background and institutional context.. 3

2.      Procedural issues and consultation of interested parties.. 3

Organisation and timing.. 3

External expertise and information gathering.. 4

Pilot projects. 5

Summary of the outcomes from consultations and reviews. 5

3.      Problem definition and Subsidiarity.. 7

Current situation of volunteering in external aid.. 7

Problems. 8

EU added value and subsidiarity.. 10

4.      Objectives.. 11

General objective. 12

Specific objectives. 12

Operational objective. 12

5.      Policy Options.. 12

No new EU action option.. 12

Voluntary Corps through the European Voluntary Service. 13

Other policy options. 13

Option 1. 14

Option 2. 15

Option 3. 16

Option 4. 18

Summary of the options. 18

6.      Analysis of impacts.. 19

Option 1. 19

Option 2. 23

Option 3. 28

Option 4. 34

7.      Comparison of options.. 37

8.      Arrangements for monitoring and evaluation.. 40

Monitoring.. 40

Evaluation.. 40

9.      Annexes.. 42

1. Background and institutional context

The Lisbon Treaty foresees in its article 214.5:  

"In order to establish a framework for joint contributions from young Europeans to the humanitarian aid operations of the Union, a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps shall be set up. The European Parliament and the Council, acting by means of regulations in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, shall determine the rules and procedures for the operation of the Corps."

In November 2010, based on previous reviews and consultations (see below), the Commission adopted a Communication on the Voluntary Corps presenting the existing situation of volunteering, the guiding principles, gaps and necessary conditions to make a positive contribution to EU humanitarian aid.[1]The Communication also provided a first indication on possible options and recommended further consultations, research and testing before setting-up the Voluntary Corps.

The Council and the European Parliament (EP) are also associated to the process. Council Conclusions were adopted in May 2011, reaffirming the key role of the EU in promoting volunteering and encouraging the Commission to continue with the establishment of the Voluntary Corps. The Conclusions emphasised the possible contributions of EU volunteers in pre and post-crisis projects, as well as for awareness raising and for increasing EU visibility. The EP adopted a Written Declaration in November 2011, identifying the selection, training and deployment of volunteers as key components of the Voluntary Corps.

The Commission proposed an allocation of €210 Million (constant prices) for the Voluntary Corps under the forthcoming Multiannual Financial Framework over the period 2014-2020 (under Heading 4 – "Global Europe").

2. Procedural issues and consultation of interested parties

Organisation and timing

Timing || Organisation

February 2010 || Bilateral consultations and internal DG ECHO research

July 2010 || External review on the Voluntary Corps

September 2010 || Stakeholders Conference in Brussels

November 2010 || Commission Communication

February-May 2011 || Public on-line Stakeholders Consultation

October 2011 & April 2012 || Meetings with the IASG

June 2011 || Stakeholders Conference in Budapest

December 2011 || External preparatory study supporting the IA; first seminar with pilot project coordinators

Commission services have been associated in the preparatory work on the Corps and also participated in several public events in the framework of the European Year on Volunteering (2011).

External expertise and information gathering

Stakeholders have been continuously involved since the beginning of the process in early 2010. A series of consultations and reviews were carried-out in order to assess the current situation, existing gaps and challenges, and identify objectives and priorities areas for action.

A first review was carried out in 2006[2] following the tabling of a proposal for a Voluntary Corps in the discussions on the draft EU Constitutional Treaty. The 2006 review concluded that the Voluntary Corps proposal combined several appealing ideas (enthusiasm of young people, the need to increase the pool of qualified human resources and to enhance EU visibility) but that due consideration would need to be given to essential lessons learnt from the field and recent trends, including the need for capacity building, the overall effort to “professionalise” humanitarian aid and the security and safety risks of humanitarian aid operations.

Building on the outcomes of the 2006 review, and in the light of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, in 2010 the Commission launched another external study. The study analysed the current situation of volunteering in the EU (with particular focus on volunteering in the area of external assistance), and assessed recent evolutions and current practices of relevant voluntary schemes, humanitarian actors, training organisations and other institutions working with volunteers in this field.[3]

Based on the analysis of the current gaps and challenges, the study identified areas where the Voluntary Corps could have an added value (c.f. annex 1 - Executive Summary of the study).

Since the beginning of 2010, the Commission has also consulted a range of stakeholders, including the main humanitarian aid organisations (NGO, Red Cross and Red Crescent Family, UN agencies), and mainstream volunteer organisations. Member States were also involved in the process: the Council working party on humanitarian aid and food aid (COHAFA) has discussed the establishment of the Voluntary Corps on several occasions, addressing current gaps and the possible relationships between a European Corps and national voluntary schemes.

In September 2010 and June 2011 two dedicated Conferences were organised (in Brussels and Budapest respectively), with the participation of humanitarian agencies and NGOs, European volunteers, representatives from Member States and other sending organisations. The conferences allowed the Commission to gather additional ideas and views from a broad range of stakeholders.

In compliance with the requirements of the “General principles and minimum standards for consultation of interested parties by the Commission”, a public on-line consultation was carried out between 8th February and 3rd May 2011. The consultation touched upon a range of issues including general opinions and expected impacts of the Voluntary Corps, profiles of volunteers, types of activities and preparatory and support measures for volunteers (cf. annex 2 the analysis report of the consultation).

Pilot projects

Based on the outcomes of the reviews and consultations, and in order to test some of the possible features of the future Voluntary Corps, the Commission launched a first round of three rounds of pilot projects in July 2011, focusing on pre and post-crisis interventions (prevention and recovery activities). The projects are currently being implemented; continuous feedback mechanisms allowed the incorporation of the first lessons learnt into this IA.[4] A second round of pilot projects will run in the second half of 2012 and in 2013. (c.f. annex 3 – factsheets on pilot projects).

The following lessons have been learned from the first round of pilot projects:

o The identification and selection of suitable volunteers are real challenges for sending organisations: the high number of applications was reported as challenge to manage (and somewhat underestimated in terms of time; human resources, and other costs);

o Training plays a significant role: the mix of academic knowledge and scenario-type activities allows checking humanitarian skills and competences like resilience and acting under pressure. It was noted that training in the EU may not be enough to send people to the field, and was proposed to include 'apprenticeship training' (as for other staff);

o the importance to have a wide scope of humanitarian action, including prevention activities, preparedness and post-crisis recovery was a common issue;

o It is important to prepare and train host organisations in third countries to receive EU volunteers (eventually involving local volunteers and 'multiplicators'), as well as to work with local volunteers. 

Summary of the outcomes from consultations and reviews

The stakeholder interviews have clearly pointed to the need for careful consideration of how and where a Voluntary Corps can make a difference in mobilising volunteers to display the values that are at the heart of the European project while providing humanitarian assistance. The following conclusions can be drawn from consultations and reviews:

· There is no unique and widely-accepted definition of “volunteer”. Volunteering is defined in many dimensions that include the profiles and characteristics of volunteers (age, education, professional background, soft skills), the motivations (solidarity, building-up the CV, learning, prospect of travel to a third country), the tasks and the context in which volunteers are deployed and the duration of deployment (short or long-term deployment, in Europe or in third countries), the level of compensation paid.[5]

· The use of volunteers in the framework of the Voluntary Corps should be demand-driven and needs-based. The cost-benefit ratio of recruiting, training and supervising volunteers is a common concern of voluntary organisations: the Voluntary Corps needs to able to demonstrate a positive cost-benefit ratio.

· Stakeholders repeatedly highlighted the need to align the use of volunteers with the trend towards increased professionalism in humanitarian aid. While motivations and good will are important, the skills and competencies necessary to have real impact on the beneficiary populations should be a guiding principle. In this respect, candidates with the ability to acquire the necessary skills and experience to go on to work in a humanitarian context should be targeted by the Voluntary Corps.

· In order to make a difference, the Voluntary Corps needs to find a role in the midst of the existing volunteer schemes through cooperative approaches. Many volunteer programmes exist but most of them focus on individual volunteers from certain countries (national voluntary schemes) and on longer-term development cooperation activities. The Voluntary Corps offers the opportunity to have a specific European dimension in volunteering, allowing so European citizens from different Member States to collaborate in humanitarian aid operations.

· There is a need to define both the types of crises where volunteers would be deployed and the types of volunteers targeted by the Corps. The contexts and types of tasks that the volunteers will perform will depend on the profiles, skills and levels of experience. In that regard some stakeholders suggested differentiating between less qualified young people and experienced volunteers. Security and safety concerns should be constantly taken into account: the complexity of humanitarian settings and interventions -especially in conflict areas- makes great attention to security issues for volunteers deployed in the field and in the hosting organisations essential. Young and in-experienced volunteers should not be deployed to humanitarian operations where security is a concern.

· The local host organisation's capacity is crucial to ensure that volunteers’ contribution has a sustainable impact on the host communities. Solid in-country hosting structures are needed to professionally manage the volunteers and ensure that good practices can be repeated after that the volunteers have left. The Voluntary Corps should include capacity building opportunities for third country hosting organisations and local communities for ("South-South" and "South-North" dimension) so as to ensure a lasting impact.

· The deployment of EU volunteers should contribute to the visibility of the EU aid to people in need. The Voluntary Corps can be a way for the EU to show concrete solidarity with third countries citizens.

· It is important that the development of the Voluntary Corps also takes into account and makes effective use of the existing related Civil Protection capacities in the Member States such as training, and supports Civil Protection activities of a humanitarian character in third countries.

· It is important to apply a flexible approach that allows for constant feed-back into the design from lessons learnt. Progressive implementation is important to ensure success.

3. Problem definition and Subsidiarity

Current situation of volunteering in external aid

There is a range of voluntary organisations involved in external aid, and in some cases in humanitarian action. It is imperative for the Voluntary Corps to avoid duplication with the existing systems.

The main programmes in the field of internationally deployed volunteers include:

ü The biggest public sector player in this field is the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which deploys around 7,500 volunteers (2009), and counts 9,500 online volunteers. In 2009 UNV volunteers came from about 160 different countries (75% of which are developing countries), working mostly on UN longer-term and recovery programmes (not focusing on humanitarian aid interventions).

ü Weltwärts (German Development Cooperation BMZ) managed 3,500 volunteers in 2009. Young (18 to 28 years old) German citizens or non-Germans permanently resident having completed a vocational training or graduated from secondary school/university are assigned to a country from the OECD list of developing countries. Volunteers are deployed in development cooperation projects via local host organisations in sectors that are considered as priority areas for German development policy.

ü UNDP Junior Professional Officer Programme (JPO), which is funded by 20 donor countries and deploys around JPOs 360 per year in various countries with UN operations. Young volunteers (less than 32 years old, usually with a Master degree and some professional experience) participate to development cooperation and recovery programmes in different areas, usually in country offices.

ü VSO UK (and members) has around 1,500 active volunteers over the year for both long-term and short placements worldwide. Volunteers with minimum 2 years of professional experience are deployed to long-term development projects linked with VSO's six development goals: health, education, secure livelihoods, disability, HIV and AIDS, participation and governance.

ü Malteser International-Relief agency of the Order of Malta for humanitarian aid (80,000 trained volunteers and 20,000 staff) deploys volunteers with some working experience in foreign countries world-wide in projects operated by Malteser in areas such as rehabilitation and reconstruction, primary health care, water and sanitation, livelihood, and disaster risk reduction.

ü The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent has around 20 million active volunteers (at national level) and uses volunteers through national societies. Only professionals are employed for overseas missions in developing countries in a broad range of areas of intervention, including Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness, humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.

ü The German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) has today more than 76,000 volunteers throughout Germany (supported by 850 full employees). Volunteers are mainly technical experts focusing on Civil Protection activities in a range of areas including clearing, electricity, supply, water damage, bridge- building, infrastructure, water hazards, location, logistics, drinking water supply and oil damage.

ü Johanniter International (JOIN Brussels) has in Germany around 29,000 volunteers with different professional profiles (social services, health care, civil protection).

At the level of the EU, there has been a general upward trend in the number of volunteers active in the EU over the last ten years: "there are around 92 to 94 million adults involved in volunteering in the EU. This in turn implies that around 22% to 23% of Europeans aged over 15 years are engaged in voluntary work".[6]

Although data on the number of volunteers being deployed from the EU to third countries in humanitarian action are not available, recent developments indicate an increased demand for volunteering as shown for example by two recent initiatives (the Weltwärts initiative and the Irish Response Initiative), as well as by the high number of applicants to the Voluntary Corps pilot projects.

The main EU volunteers' programme is the Youth in Action Programme, through its European Voluntary Scheme (EVS),[7] which offers funding opportunities for NGOs and others organisations for placements of young volunteers (18-30 years old) in a variety of areas. The main EVS' goal is to foster solidarity among young people and to provide learning experiences for volunteers. The projects focus on themes such as culture, youth, sports, social care, cultural heritage, arts, civil protection, environment, development cooperation, etc. Only a small part of the EVS volunteers are deployed in the framework of external aid initiatives and mainly in development cooperation projects. Humanitarian aid interventions in post-crisis situations are excluded.

Europeans feel very positive about humanitarian operations, as the Special Eurobarometer 384 (2012) has revealed: 88% think that humanitarian operations are important, and 84% think that even during the current financial crises the funding of humanitarian aid as an expression of European solidarity shall be sustained. In addition, 88% of Europeans support the setting up of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.[8] However, while 68% are aware of the EU funding humanitarian aid, only 30% of Europeans feel well informed.

Problems

The analysis of the current situation of volunteering, as well as recent studies and reviews, [9]  show that, despite the fact that a number of schemes already exist, there are still important shortcomings. Gaps exist that hamper voluntary schemes from reaching full potential. The following problems have been identified:

i. Lack of a structured EU approach towards volunteering

The volunteering landscape has become more diverse in recent years. There are significant differences in the level of volunteering and voluntary organisations between Member States: whilst certain EU Member States have longstanding traditions in volunteering and well developed voluntary sectors, in others the voluntary sector is still emerging or poorly developed.[10] This is also due to the limited availability of financial resources, which represent a significant challenge for the majority of voluntary organisations across the EU.

The lack of an integrated system and an EU structured framework for volunteering are an obstacle to releasing the full potential of voluntary activity, and limits the participation of people having the good will or eagerness to get involved, as well the further development of solidarity among Europeans and with people in need in third countries.

ii. Poor visibility of EU humanitarian action and solidarity with people in need

The visibility of EU humanitarian action and the information to citizens is still poor. This is demonstrated by the most recent reviews (2010 and 2011) and Eurobarometer (2012), indicating that only 30% of Europeans feel well informed about humanitarian aid.

The limited awareness among Europeans on EU action supporting people in need leads to greater difficulties for European citizens who want to make a concrete contribution to the humanitarian aid operations of the EU in making an appropriate choice and getting involved. The prominence of EU support to third countries is also negatively affected.

iii. Lack of consistent identification and selection mechanisms across MSs

Consolidated standards for the identification and selection of volunteers to be consistently used across Member States do not exist. Different approaches are applied, making sometime difficult the matching between the supply of volunteers and the demand from organisations.[11]

The criteria vary significantly as the different 'models' reflect different aims and purposes of the voluntary schemes: in some cases the focus is on enhancing the soft skills of young people and the contribution to personal and professional development of volunteers, whereas other schemes aim to contribute to disaster responses, i.e. are active in areas where effectiveness and skills really matter. A number of sending organisations also operate rosters for the identification and selection of volunteers, though rosters mainly contain data on highly trained experts rather than volunteers.[12] Existing rosters are used by individual sending organisations: information and data on volunteers and candidates volunteers are not always shared, leading to a certain compartmentalisation and loss of efficiency.

iv. Availability of sufficiently qualified volunteers for humanitarian aid

Training is another area of concern. Consultations and reviews show that while the majority of volunteer sending organisations do have established guidelines, standards and/or codes of conduct for their volunteers, many fewer run training courses. The 2010 public consultation survey indicated less than 40% of the organisations run training courses for volunteers deployed. The existing training is offered to a varying extent and in varying forms, as also shown by pilot projects. Training is often combined with deployment of volunteers in a developing country, and in many cases training takes place before, during and after the volunteer’s stay. Current training schemes involve e-learning, training prior to departure (typically between 1 day and 1 week), home office work before deployment, supervision and training while on site (c.f. annex 4 - examples of existing training schemes).

The lack of adequate training, which is also due to limited availability of resources (especially for smaller organisations), implies that in some circumstances less experienced sending organisations deploy volunteers without the minimum skills or awareness of humanitarian principles. These volunteers can be a burden for hosting organisations and local community they are supposed to help.

v. Shortcomings in surge capacity

The increased number and magnitude of humanitarian crises (both natural disasters and man-made crises) put increasing pressure on the surge capacity of humanitarian aid. Currently, the majority of volunteers that are deployed in third countries are engaged with longer-term development cooperation projects rather than humanitarian aid interventions.

The greater humanitarian needs make it essential to improve the number of qualified resources (including experienced volunteers) to be deployed in crisis contexts, where local and international relief capacity are often overwhelmed.[13] In particular, due to the increasing risks of natural disasters, preventive and preparedness efforts are needed to reduce the probability of disasters happening and to reduce their impacts. Recovery from disasters, back-office and support functions in the EU such as advocacy, information and communication (to increase organisational capacities and release experienced staff to move closer to the field) are also areas where additional resources would be needed.

vi.- Capacities of hosting organisations

International volunteers have to be hosted by local organisations when they are deployed to the field. Local capacities are of vital importance in order to ensure the sustainability of results and impacts of prevention, preparedness and response actions.

Due to lack of resources and poor institutional support, the third countries’ organisations involved with the support to the most vulnerable people often do not have the required capacities to manage volunteers and fully benefit from their contribution.

EU added value and subsidiarity

In order to fill the gaps, there is the need to act at the EU level, as only the development of an EU framework for humanitarian volunteering would efficiently and effectively tackle the problems identified, make a valuable contribution to the overall capacity to respond to humanitarian crises, and enhance the EU’s profile in this area.

An EU Voluntary Corps will allow the different national voluntary schemes and approaches to further develop in a more coherent way based on new EU tools, systems and resources. This will enhance mobility of European citizens and further develop solidarity and active participation in a European project. The development of new EU systems and tools (based on existing best national and international practices) that facilitate the matching between the supply of volunteers and the demand from the organisations will also benefit the voluntary organisations that will be able to make a better use of people wanting to engage in volunteering in humanitarian aid projects.

The lack of qualified volunteers for humanitarian aid can also be better addressed at the EU level through the development of curricula and methods that can be applied by any organisation, and the support to training activities that otherwise would not be organised at national level. EU training will in particular benefit smaller organisations that in the current system do not have the capacities to provide adequate training to volunteers.

While there is a clear EU added value in establishing the Voluntary Corps, the Commission shall also make sure that the duplication of existing national voluntary schemes is avoided. This will be ensured by the fact that the Voluntary Corps will be focusing on activities related to humanitarian aid rather than longer-term development cooperation (the focus pf the existing schemes in e.g. France, Germany, and Ireland). Furthermore, the Voluntary Corps will build on existing systems and structures (identification and selection criteria, training, etc.) rather than disrupting them. The new ‘EU dimension to volunteering’ will allow the national schemes to further develop their capacities to identify, select, train and deploy volunteers using the new tools and systems developed under the Voluntary Corps. Finally, the Voluntary Corps will also enhance the overall support to volunteering in the EU (leverage effect).

The lack of Union action would also be inconsistent with the Lisbon Treaty, which requires the establishment of the Voluntary Corps (Art.214.5), and entails a strong expectation towards the Commission to act.

4. Objectives

Mobilising better the volunteering capacity of European citizens is a useful way to project a very positive image of the EU in the world. It can foster interest for pan-European projects in support of humanitarian aid activities, including civil protection activities of a humanitarian character, not only through more deployment but also through better preparation.[14]

This can reinforce the benefits delivered to the hosting organisations and local communities, and the positive impacts on the volunteers themselves. In this way, benefits are acknowledged/ endorsed at the level of the voluntary organisations, the communities that they serve, the volunteers, and in this way the EU as a whole.

The Voluntary Corps shall equally be designed in a way to support the EU Youth Opportunities Initiative (COM(2011) 933) and, more generally, the Europe 2020 strategy. Albeit arguably in a limited scope, it shall provide opportunities for European youth to develop competences for life: personal resilience; intercultural awareness and understanding; project management; and dealing with unforeseen and complex situations.

These considerations have been translated into the following objectives:

General objective

To express EU humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need, through the promotion of an effective and visible European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, as an enhanced EU contribution to the overall capacity to respond to humanitarian crises.

Specific objectives

To improve the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid To improve the skills and competences of volunteers and their working conditions To promote the visibility of the Union’s humanitarian values To build capacities of hosting organisations in third countries To enhance the coherence/consistency across Member States in order to improve opportunities for European citizens to participate in humanitarian aid operations To strengthen the identification and selection criteria of volunteers

Operational objective

· To establish a framework for joint contributions from European citizens to the humanitarian aid operations of the Union (Lisbon Treaty, Art. 214.5).

5. Policy Options

No new EU action option

In the absence of a Voluntary Corps it can be expected that volunteers would continue to be used, mostly in longer-term development cooperation, and that the individual national voluntary schemes and NGOs would continue to apply their own identification and selection methods.

Those willing to offer a committed voluntary contribution in humanitarian aid would continue to have to act in a opaque ‘market’ in which it is difficult to compare the volunteering propositions offered by different organisations and where one is to some extent dependent on opportunities offered in one’s own national context.

This situation would produce an ‘un-harvested’ volunteering potential in humanitarian aid due to lack of capacity - within the NGO community and with national governments - to develop and offer the appropriate training in that regard, and due to the fact that it is costly to the individual sending organisation to provide sufficient training to ensure that the volunteer will add value.

For these reasons, sending organisations would also continue to deploy volunteers who do not always have the necessary qualifications and skills, with no assurance as to the quality of the placements or the actual impacts of volunteers’ engagement on local communities. In a worst case scenario the volunteers deployed to humanitarian crises zones would represent a risk both to themselves and to others.

The impact on host organisations and local communities would also depend on how well the specific volunteer sending organisation, the host organisation, and the volunteer are prepared for the deployment. The benefit to the volunteer and to the hosting community would depend on the host organisation’s resources (often very limited) and, if capacities are not built, organisations with already low capacities would miss out on the benefits of hosting a volunteer. 

Finally, the EU visibility would not be enhanced if no new action is taken at the EU level.

For the reasons mentioned above, and in consideration of the fact that the Lisbon Treaty requires the establishment of the Voluntary Corps (Art.214.5), the ‘no new EU action’ option is not assessed further.

Voluntary Corps through the European Voluntary Service

The expansion of the mandate of the existing European Voluntary Service in order to include the Voluntary Corps has also been considered at an initial stage. This option was disregarded on the basis of the following arguments:

The objectives of the two programmes are different: while the EVS focuses on the promotion of young people active citizenship, social cohesion and mutual understanding within the EU, the humanitarian Voluntary Corps aims to support the engagement of EU volunteers but equally to assist people in need in third countries through humanitarian volunteering.

The targeted volunteers have different profiles and backgrounds: the EVS is limited to young volunteers (18 to 30 years old), while the Voluntary Corps shall be open to all ages (including more experienced volunteers) in order to effectively tackle the identified problems and have positive impacts for local communities. The involvement of volunteers with different profiles and the adaptation to the specific tasks is one of the strengths of the programme.

The scope and range of activities are radically different: the EVS is mainly limited to deployment in EU countries (with few exceptions), has very light elements of “accreditation” (no certification or standards), and narrow training activities (few days pre-departure and/or upon arrival). The level of accreditation and training is not considered sufficient for the complex environments in which humanitarian operations are conducted.

The management modalities are different: the EVS management is decentralised (80% of the volunteers are deployed in the framework of projects managed by National Agencies). This option would not be feasible for the deployment of humanitarian volunteers in third countries which is done through specialised implementing partners.

Other policy options

As a Voluntary Corps in humanitarian aid shall be established (as part of the Lisbon Treaty), and the 'no policy change' option is not applicable, the challenge is to define the Corps in a way that provides the best possible benefits (effectiveness) in a cost-effective manner.

To guide the Impact Assessment, different 'modules' have been identified on the basis of the outcomes from the stakeholder consultations and lessons learned from the pilot projects. They involve the whole range of activities that might be supported through the Voluntary Corps:

1. Development of standards for identification, selection of volunteers

2. Development of a certification mechanism for sending organisations

3. Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid

4. Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers

5. Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations

6. Support to deployment of EU volunteers

7. Building capacities in third country hosting organisations

8. Establishment of an EU Network of humanitarian volunteers

The four policy options result from the combination of different modules in an incremental manner, with option 4 foreseeing a Direct Management for the deployment of volunteers. All the options are consistent with the problems identified, and would allow the achievement of the specific objectives, though to different degrees. In order to achieve a minimum level of results, at least the first two modules need to be present.

Option 1

The first policy option consists of the first 2 modules:

1. Development of standards for identification, selection of volunteers

2. Development of certification mechanism for sending organisations

The development of standards for the identification and selection of volunteers are envisaged to ensure that the right volunteers are attracted and selected in a fair manner, and also that they have the right abilities. The EU standards would consolidate and expand the standards already available,[15] also based on the findings of the ongoing pilot projects. The EU standards will identify which skills and competencies should be further developed for a volunteer to be up to standard before being sent out.

The EU standards would focus on issues such as the commitment level and mobilisation time (short-term vs long-term deployment), language capabilities, age, technical skills, soft skills, professional record and relevant past experience/knowledge. Beyond these common features, they may need to be adapted to the particular mandates and missions of the different organisations involved with volunteers.

The development and specification of such standards and curricula will be a task of the Commission in collaboration with the relevant organisations. This option does not necessarily require the adoption of an EU Regulation, as standards can be developed through grants to relevant organisations already operating in the humanitarian aid sector.

The Standards may only be taken on to a limited degree in the absence of additional activities that "enforce" (encourage) their adoption. One way of doing so is the certification of organisations that use such standards. The certification mechanism would deliver audited evidence that certified organisations adhere to EU standards. Pursuing different levels of certificates may be considered where "light" versions may be suitable for small organisations operating in safer environments.

As the certification may involve a comprehensive auditing process and may be costly[16] it is envisaged that the Commission will take the lead in arranging the setup of a certification mechanism, but that the actual auditing system will be outsourced. Integration with existing certification mechanisms and mutual recognition will also be sought in order to avoid duplication.

Option 2

The second policy option consists of the following modules:

1. Development of standards for identification, selection of volunteers

2. Development of certification mechanism for sending organisations

3. Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid

4. Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers

5. Development of standards and certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations

In addition to activities already covered in option 1, option 2 would include: the training of volunteers; the establishment of a Register of EU volunteers; and the development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations.

Training activities are likely to target young volunteers (with little or no experience) as well as volunteers with previous experience. The contents and length of the training will reflect the type of volunteer and their specific needs: the training for the young volunteers will have a greater length and depth, also inspired by current training activities carried-out in the framework of the pilot projects. Completion certificates may be issued after completion of the training.

The specific contents, curricula and scope of the training will be framed at a la­ter stage in consultation with stakeholders buil­ding upon huma­ni­tarian aid organisations' experiences, best practices and further lessons learnt from the pilot projects. Special attention would also be paid to a transparent and clear mechanism for identifying and selecting the volunteers to enter the training. Particular care must be taken to ensure that there is equal access to the training throughout Europe and that Europeans are trained as far as possible together in mixed national groups, making the EU training a true and visible European activity.  

The training would be prepared and implemented under calls for tender and subsequent contracts, operated through one or two years contracts (with possibilities for renew­als), and managed by the Commission.[17] This would also imply that the sending organisation might be different from the training institutions, though strong coordination will be needed in case part of the training is done on-site.

This option would also include the development and maintenance of a Register of qualified volunteers in the EU who are available to engage in humanitarian aid. The Register would provide a platform that would enable fast identification of suitable volunteer candidates and in turn improve access to volunteering opportunities for people from across the EU.

As the Register would contain the details of volunteers who have been through training, links between the Register administrators and providers of relevant training courses will be established. Setting up the Register would involve specification and development of a database and an associated website, and supporting IT systems. A website and links into the mainstream social media and to relevant volunteering websites could also be developed. The Register would also need to remain up to date and reflect the true availability of volunteers and would need a policy regulating the access.

Finally, option 2 would involve the development of standards for volunteers' management in hosting organisations in third countries, which would need to be coherent with the modules previously described. The standards may cover practical issues, such as security and accommodation, as well as conditions ensuring the full utilisation of volunteer skills once in the host community. The exact scope and content of the standards would be defined before development. The actual process of development would require the involvement of experts and regular consultation with a number of organisations.

Mirroring the certification for sending organisations, a certification of hosting organisations would be also developed. Again the pursuit of different levels of certificates could be considered, where "light" versions maybe suitable for small organisations operating in safer environments and will have lower requirements to e.g. security or safety aspects and multi-cultural issues.

The standards and certification mechanism would be developed under a contract issued by the Commission under competitive tender to a qualified organisation. Typically, standards do not require much maintenance. However, once established, they should be reviewed periodically and updated/revised where necessary.

Option 3

The third policy option consists of the following modules:

1. Development of standards for identification, selection of volunteers

2. Development of a certification mechanism for sending organisations

3. Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid

4. Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers

5. Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations

6. Support to deployment of EU volunteers

7. Building capacities in third country hosting organisations

8. Establishment of an EU Network of humanitarian volunteers

In addition to the activities covered under option 2; option 3 would include: the deployment of EU volunteers to third countries; building capacities in hosting organisations; and the establishment of an 'EU community of humanitarian volunteers'.

Option 3 would be implemented through an existing Executive Agency with relevant experience of volunteer programs (i.e. EACEA) with appropriate Commission oversight.

Under option 3, the training activities described above (under Option 2) would be combined with 'Apprenticeship Placements' for less experienced volunteers of up to 6 months before actual deployment to a field operation. These apprenticeship placements (in support roles) may be organized by the EU sending organisations (humanitarian actors) in a country other than the EU volunteer's home country to add a European dimension. 

For 'regular' deployment, volunteers would be placed in humanitarian aid projects in third countries, with a particular focus on prevention/preparedness and recovery, which have identified as relevant areas by organisations involved in the pilot projects. Deployment of EU volunteers would in this way also contribute to a make a better link between humanitarian aid and longer-term development cooperation, including through the strengthening of resilience capacities of local communities. The duration of deployment would be in function of the context, the type of volunteer and the type of tasks: (i) deployment of less experienced volunteers (long-term deployment of on average one year); (ii) short deployment of experienced volunteers after a sudden on-set crisis or for capacity building purposes (short-term deployment of on average one month).[18] Volunteers can be used for a variety of tasks, including classical emergency interventions, capacity building and back-office and administrative functions.

The deployment would include the integration of volunteers into projects, in particular those that receive financial support from the EU. Deployment could also be possible in Commission's offices and projects, and in some United Nations' organisations. In all deployment, it will be important to maintain an uniformed approach and visibility of the Volunteers' Corps.

The Commission would select implementing partners through calls for proposals. Co-financing arrangements would allow the Commission's implementing partners and other sending organisations submitting a proposal to receive additional financial support (from the Voluntary Corps budget) for the volunteers deployed with the projects. The organisations wanting to deploy EU volunteers will have to be certified and adhere to the Voluntary Corps communication policy in order to ensure EU visibility. 

The capacity of hosting organisations in third countries to effectively manage the deployed volunteers according to the standards developed under module 5 is a crucial element of the delivery of humanitarian assistance via the Voluntary Corps.[19] For this reason, option 3 would include capacity-building elements (module 7) in order to support the improvement of hosting capacity. This module may include training opportunities of volunteer coaches and multiplicators; a 'Humanitarian Leadership' programme; and regional seminars/conferences for the exchange of good practices for management of EU volunteers in third countries.

Training for hosting organisations would focus on 'volunteer management and coaching'; tailored modules on disaster management depending on the type of crises the organisation deals with; and 'promoting local participation and volunteering' in order to ensure that the EU volunteers presence does promotes local engagement and employment. Training would be provided by external training providers in third countries as the hosting organisations are widely dispersed across the globe. Additionally, a 'Humanitarian Leadership' programme is envisaged inviting selected staff and volunteers from these hosting organisations to humanitarian partner organisations in the EU (South-North) or to humanitarian organisations in other countries (South-South) for a capacity building stay of up to 3 months.

Facilitating an active EU Network of humanitarian volunteers would be the final element of Option 3. The core of the community could be an interactive networking website. It should be linked to mainstream social networking and relevant professional online communities. It shall encourage the exchange of experiences and mutual support of the volunteers and promote an 'Esprit de Corps'. Target groups of the Network are all volunteers who have participated in the Corps and they could constitute a specific chapter of the Register of trained humanitarian volunteers identified in Option 2.

Additionally, this Network could be an instrument to foster interest among other Europeans to engage without being deployed. "Online volunteering" is on the rise, with more and more citizens use their computers to make a difference by providing a range of services such as mentoring; translation of documents or crisis mapping. These features could expand the outreach of the Corps exponentially. Membership on the Network will be on a voluntary basis, though strongly encouraged, with appropriate links ensured to existing on-line initiatives.

Option 4

Option 4 would essentially support the same combination of activities as option 3 (all 8 modules), but assumes that each component of option 3 is directly managed by the European Commission, including selection, training and deployment, which, if they require the cooperation of humanitarian organisations, would be done on individual and ad hoc contractual arrangements between the Commission (or Executive Agency) and the implementing organisations. 

Such an approach for the deployment of volunteer could be organised in a number of ways, including: i) allocating supplementary human resources within the Commission services; ii) using an existing Executive Agency to implement (for example the Executive Agency EACEA of DG Education And Culture); iii) establishing a new free-standing EU Voluntary Corps Agency. Given the assumed additional administrative costs of establishing a new Agency in the current economic climate, this option is not costed-out further in this Impact Assessment.

Summary of the options

The following table resumes the policy options. The standards for identification, selection of volunteers are part of all the options as jointly framed and agreed-upon standards are considered a necessary condition for development of any other activity.

Option No (Modules) || Content

Option 1 (1, 2) || 1. Standards for identification, selection of volunteers 2. Certification mechanism for sending organisations

Option 2 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) || 1. Standards for identification, selection of volunteers 2. Certification mechanism for sending organisations 3. Training for EU volunteers 4. EU register 5. Standards and certification for hosting organisations

Option 3 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 + partnership approach for deployment) || 1. Standards for identification, selection of volunteers 2. Certification mechanism for sending organisations 3. Training for EU volunteers 4. EU register 5. Standards and certification for hosting organisations. 6. Deployment of volunteers 7. Building capacities in third country hosting organisations 8. EU Network of humanitarian volunteers

Option 4 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 + 'detachment' approach for deployment) || 1. Standards for identification, selection of volunteers 2. Certification mechanism for sending organisations 3. Training for EU volunteers 4. EU register 5. Standards and certification for hosting organisations. 6. Deployment of volunteers 7. Building capacities in third country hosting organisations 8. EU Network of humanitarian volunteers

6. Analysis of impacts

This section assesses the main potential impacts of each option (including the impacts on different stakeholders), and the extent to which each option delivers on the specific objectives. The analysis of each option also summarises the estimates of the implementation costs (assessment of efficiency), working on the assumption of the adoption of the Legislative Framework for full implementation starting in 2014.

The estimates of the implementation costs also includes the costs of management, which are assumed to be around 10% of the overall budget if the activities are managed by the Commission staff, whereas if the management is outsourced to an existing implementing Agency the costs would be around 8%.[20]

Option 1

The development of EU standards and the setting-up of a certification mechanism are highly complementary: having the standards in place is a necessary, but not sufficient requirement for the Voluntary Corps to have an added value. The impact of the EU standards on volunteering would depend on the extent to which they are taken up and used by the organisations other than in an ad-hoc manner. Certification is a means for allowing the standards to be more widely adapted and used. At the same time, the certification mechanisms itself needs a certain minimum level of uptake in order to be effective and improve the quality of recruitment and training of volunteers. The financial support from the Voluntary Corps would allow a larger number of organisations, especially the smaller ones, to prepare for and comply with the certification requirements.

The existence of common criteria for the identification and selection of volunteers and EU training curricula are conditions for increased efficiency and effectiveness of the whole volunteering system, as standards would ensure that the adequate mix of skills and motivations are in place before deploying volunteers to the field.

The impact of EU standards is likely to be more important on the smaller organisations and the organisations in the Member States that have not had the resources to develop such standards themselves.

As uptake increases, the better information provided on necessary requirements for volunteers available on 'the market' will impact on the number of volunteers available. A higher level of transparency across organisations will mean that European citizens would be better placed to decide whether to engage in volunteering in humanitarian aid, and on the organisation(s) to which they want to offer their services.

At the same time, if the standards are consistently implemented, the volunteers would benefit from getting and being able to display higher skill levels on their CVs.

Finally, the standards are likely to lead to improvement of job quality for volunteers who are deployed to third countries by making sure that the essential issues for successful deployment are addressed by the training courses. This would in turn benefit the hosting organisations receiving European volunteers, and indirectly the local population being assisted.

This option is not expected to have any specific impact on the environment.

The following table distinguishes the impacts on the different stakeholders.

|| Impacts

Stakeholder || Positive || Negative

EU sending organisations || - Overall efficiency and effectiveness in identification and selection of volunteers improved - Visibility improved through certification mechanism || - Potential burden of complying with certification mechanism - Risk of heavier administrative procedures

EU volunteers || - Increased transparency makes participation in volunteering easier || - Actual training and deployment opportunities would still be limited

Hosting organisations || - Conditions for getting adequate and better trained volunteers established || - No capacity building activities

Local communities || - Conditions for a more effective volunteers’ contribution to meeting humanitarian needs ||

              Contribution to the objectives

1. To improve the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid

Since the module primarily focuses on the organisations situated in the EU/sending countries, most emphasis is on ensuring that the volunteers ready to be deployed are the right ones - i.e. that they have been properly identified and selected. A more efficient, effective and transparent selection and recruitment process can actually reduce the number of deployed volunteers but, on the other hand, increase the quality of the volunteers’ contributions. However, the impact on the overall capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid would only be of an indirect nature and is likely to be very limited.

2. To improve the skills and competences of volunteers and their working conditions

An improved system of identification and selection of volunteers is only a pre-condition for making sure that the right persons are engaged. The impacts on the skills sets and abilities of volunteers would depend on the goodwill and capacities of sending organisations to actually provide training on the basis of the agreed curricula.

3. To promote the visibility of the Union’s humanitarian values

Impacts on the promotion of EU solidarity within the EU will be positively linked to how far the elements within the option are adopted and how far they come to be identified as part of an EU initiative. Certificates would make EU volunteering standards more visible. Impacts on the promotion of EU solidarity and EU visibility outside the EU would be very limited, due to the fact that this option does not imply the deployment of volunteers in third countries.

4. To build capacities of hosting organisations in third countries

No direct contribution of this option to this specific objective is expected under Option 1.

5. To enhance the coherence/consistency across Member States in order to improve opportunities for European citizens to participate in humanitarian aid operations

The development and adoption of EU standards and a certification mechanism might encourage different organisations in different EU Member States to align their approaches and ‘modus operandi’, which would in turn create ‘market synergies’. EU citizens who are interested in volunteering would have the possibility to make a better informed choice. However, this entirely depends on the level of uptake of standards and certification mechanisms. The smaller organisations would benefit from standards that would not be accessible otherwise.

6. To strengthen the identification and selection criteria of volunteers

The identification and selection criteria, as well as the whole recruitment processes and systems would be more transparent and effective.

              Implementation costs

            Module 1: Development of standards

The following cost calculations are partly based on the experiences of the HAP and the People In Aid of developing and maintaining their respective standards, and partly by making some additional assumptions. It is assumed that development of the standards would need three years, based on the HAP and People In Aid. The revision of the standards would be undertaken every five years (first revision in 2020), while the promotion would start once the standards have been established. Costs include the outsourcing to service providers as well as the Commission staff costs (assumed to be around 10% of the overall staff input).

Standards || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Tot 2014-20

Development standards || 192,400 || 192,400 || 192,400 || 0 || 0 || 0 || 0 || 577,200

Revision || 0 || 0 || 0 || 0 || 0 || 0 || 131,200 || 131,200

Promotion || 0 || 0 || 50,000 || 50,000 || 50,000 || 50,000 || 50,000 || 250,000

Total || 192,400 || 192,400 || 242,400 || 50,000 || 50,000 || 50,000 || 181,200 || 958,400

Note: All values in EUR are assumed to be in 2012 prices.

There might be limited additional costs for sending organisations for complying with standards due to slightly heavier administrative procedures. There would not be any additional cost for volunteers, hosting organisations and local communities.

            Module 2:  Certification mechanism for sending organisations

The development of elements such as checklists and auditing procedures and the establishment of an audit system are assumed to be outsourced and to take place alongside the development of the above standards. For this reason, the costs for developing the certification mechanism are assumed to be much smaller than the costs for the development of standards (around 10%).

The main costs concern the use of the certification mechanism (see table below). Given the uncertainty about the affordability for the different organisations (many organisations, in particular the small ones, would find it too costly to pay the costs of the auditing process), the IA presents the cost figures of a 100% Commission-financed auditing process. Similar to the HAP and the People In Aid, we assume that certified organisations must be re-certified every 3 years. For the cost calculations, we assume a cost of getting certified/audited of EUR 20,000 (based on figures from HAP and People In Aid) and an uptake of 85 organisations by 2020 - starting with 8 in 2015.

Certification mechanism || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Tot 2014-20

Development / update || 25.000 || 25.000 || 0 || 0 || 0 || 25.000 || 0 || 75.000

Maintenance/use || 0 || 160.000 || 200.000 || 240.000 || 300.000 || 400.000 || 400.000 || 1.700.000

Yearly take-up || || 8 || 10 || 12 || 15 || 20 || 20 || 85

Re-certification || || || || || 160.000 || 200.000 || 240.000 || 600.000

Promotion || 30.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || 210.000

Total || 55.000 || 215.000 || 230.000 || 270.000 || 490.000 || 655.000 || 670.000 || 2.585.000

The implementation costs of option 1 would be as follow:

Modules || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Tot 2014-2020

1. Standards identification, selection, training || 192.400 || 192.400 || 242.400 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 181.200 || 958.000

2. Certification mechanism || 55.000 || 215.000 || 230.000 || 270.000 || 490.000 || 655.000 || 670.000 || 2.585.000

Total || 247.400 || 407.400 || 472.000 || 320.000 || 540.000 || 705.000 || 851.200 || 3.543.000

Management Costs (10%)* || 24.700 || 40.700 || 47.200 || 32.000 || 54.000 || 70.500 || 85.120 || 354.300

* In case of outsourcing to an EA the management costs would be 8% of the total (€283.440).

Option 2

This option considers the standards developed in option 1 as the foundation for developing and providing a training scheme for volunteers financed by the EU.

As for option 1, the overall recruiting system for volunteers would be improved. Furthermore, sending organisations would get access to volunteers that have undergone a comprehensive training programme, which would in turn improve the effectiveness of deploying volunteers, reduce the risks of mismatch and facilitate the supervision and guidance of volunteers on the field. The establishment of a Register of trained volunteers would also help recruiting organisations identify suitable candidates. [21]

The standards for hosting organisations would further improve the overall contribution of volunteering in humanitarian aid by ensuring that hosting organisations are fully capable of providing valuable volunteer placements and of harvesting the benefits from the volunteers’ skills, which would in turn benefit the host communities. The standards for volunteer management would also facilitate hosting organisations’ access to partnership arrangements with volunteer recruiting organisations in the EU and elsewhere by helping them build a reputation. For this purpose, it should be ensured that the standards are straightforward and compatible with the community needs or customs. The standards should integrate as much as possible into other requirements that already exist so as to avoid unnecessary administrative burden, especially for the smaller organisations.

The risk arising is that the better skilled/experienced volunteers replace local volunteers and/or local employment. For this to be avoided, training must focus on inputs that could not otherwise be provided locally, and which has the potential of stimulating local community and volunteers. At the same time, the standards and certification for hosting organisations can help in reinforcing their capacities and benefit local volunteers and local communities.

On the volunteers’ side, those completing the training will have better qualifications, and they will be better placed to secure a deployment. The training would enable them to make a better informed decision about whether to make a career in humanitarian aid. In this way, the training will create the conditions for facilitating the inclusion of young people into the labour market in the EU, especially if volunteers that have completed the EU training are provided with some formal recognition of their work – e.g. documented qualifications.

The Register would provide qualified volunteers from across the EU with access to volunteering opportunities with organisations that meet recognised standards in volunteer management and are eventually certified. This would provide improve transparency as well as the opportunities for volunteers as they would be more visible for the recruiting organisations. Those aiming for a career in humanitarian aid and who have the requested training could also use this Register to indicate their availability for permanent posts (subject to configuration of the Register).

The training could also have positive environmental impacts by better preparing and sensitising future volunteers on issues such as prevention of natural disasters, preparedness and response to the impacts of disasters due to climate change. The standards for hosting organisations could also contribute to better management of natural resources in beneficiary countries. Some negative environmental impacts can be assumed by travel of volunteers to trainings. The following table provides an overview of the potential positive and negative impacts on the different stakeholders.

|| Impacts

Stakeholder || Positive || Negative

EU sending organisations || - Improved pool of human resources (skills of volunteers) - Improved access to EU volunteers through Register + lower searching costs - Improved working relationships with hosting organisations if standards are applied || - Risk of duplication of existing training schemes - Risk of heavier administrative procedures - Costs for deployment as not covered by the EU

Volunteers || - Improved access to training across Europe - Higher skills/qua­lifications: volunteers more attractive for labour market - Improved visibility and access to employers - Improved access to other volunteers || - Possible economic pressure on families for supporting training if not fully covered - Rising of qualifications might lead to exclusion of less qualified volunteers - No guarantee of deployment after training

Hosting organisations || - Trained volunteers would be more effective if deployed - Increased management capacities through standards || - Potential crowding out effects on local workforce/local volunteering - Potential burden of standards and certification  if difficult to follow

Local communities || - More qualified volunteers contribute to more effective humanitarian aid if deployed - Standards ensure that the volunteers skills are adequately used to the benefit of local communities || - Crowding out effects on local workforce if paid positions are replaced by EU volunteers

             

              Contribution to the objectives

1. To improve the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid

As for Option 1, the impact on the overall capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid would only be of an indirect nature, as improved recruitment systems and better trained volunteers are necessary pre-conditions, but deployment opportunities would in the end still depend on the capacities and resources of the sending organisations.

2. To improve the skills and competences of volunteers and their working conditions

European volunteers would gain skills and competences through the training, thus increasing their relevance for future deployment and their career opportunities The standards for hosting organisations would allow trained volunteers, eventually screened and selected through the Register, to benefit from favourable environment when and if they are ultimately deployed.

3. To promote the visibility of the Union’s humanitarian values

 EU visibility would be further promoted by a training that is widely acknowledged as highly relevant and highly applicable. A training scheme that is operated under the EU umbrella, and which is recognised for its quality and substance will add substantially to the promotion of EU solidarity and credibility (a similar development has been observed for the EU Civil Protection training). However, no visibility linked to the deployment of volunteers in the field is achieved under this option as volunteers will be deployed (if they are at all) by other organisations.

4. To build capacities of hosting organisations in third countries

The standards and the certification mechanism fully funded by the EU would significantly increase the capacities of local organisations to make the best use of European volunteers in their humanitarian operations. However, the fact the deployment itself is not included leaves it up to the initiative of humanitarian organisations and availability of funds whether these standards are actually fruitfully put into action. The unbundling of standards from directly supported deployment may make it unlikely that many third country organisations get interested in applying them.

5. To enhance the coherence/consistency across Member States in order to improve opportunities for European citizens to participate in humanitarian aid operations

Equal access to training would be facilitated, as well as equal development of skills for all European citizens. Consistency between different voluntary schemes would also be improved by the fact that volunteers from different Member States having followed the training would enrol in the Register and would then be accessible to all voluntary organisations. The existence of an EU training would increase the attractiveness of the volunteering experience for those who want to contribute to humanitarian aid operations of the Union. Potential volunteers would also be reinsured by the existence of standards for hosting organisations and by the possibility of being more visible to sending organisations through the Register.

6. To strengthen the identification and selection criteria of volunteers

As for Option 1, the identification and selection criteria, as well as the whole recruitment processes and systems would be more transparent and effective.

              Implementation costs

Here only additional elements are presented (the costs already calculated for option 1 will be added to the overall costs calculation).

            Module 3: Training of EU volunteers

As for the number of volunteers to be trained, we assume an average of 12 young volunteers per Member State and an average of 10 experienced volunteers per Member State at the beginning of the training activities. We also assume that this number increases by 20% each year to reach a total of 1.773 volunteers trained in 2020, which represents a total of 7.673 volunteers trained.

The cost of training per young volunteer is estimated to be EUR 7,120,[22] while training costs for volunteers with experience are assumed to be in the same order of magnitude as the costs of the EU introductory course on Civil Protection preparedness: EUR 3,700 per volunteer.[23] The difference is mainly due to the different length of the training.  

As training activities would be outsourced, the calculations include the costs of service providers. Some staff on the Commission side would also be needed for procurement, assistance to training providers and other ad-hoc activities.[24]

Training for EU volunteers || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Total  (2014-20)

Administration and management costs || 48.000 || 128.000 || 128.000 || 128.000 || 128.000 || 128.000 || 128.000 || 816.000

Delivery costs - Young volunteers || 2.306.880 || 2.769.680 || 3.325.040 || 3.987.200 || 4.784.640 || 5.738.720 || 6.885.040 || 29.797.200

Delivery costs - Experienced volunteers || 999.000 || 1.198.800 || 1.439.300 || 1.727.900 || 2.072.000 || 2.486.400 || 2.982.200 || 12.905.600

Promotion & communication || 500.000 || 500.000 || 150.000 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 1.350.000

Total Costs || 3.853.880 || 4.596.480 || 5.042.340 || 5.893.100 || 7.034.640 || 8.403.120 || 10.045.240 || 44.868.800

N. of young volunteers || 324 || 389 || 467 || 560 || 672 || 806 || 967 || 4.185

N. experienced volunteers || 270 || 324 || 389 || 467 || 560 || 672 || 806 || 3.488

Tot number of volunteers || 594 || 713 || 856 || 1.027 || 1.232 || 1.478 || 1.773 || 7.673

As there might be limited additional costs for volunteers who participate in the training courses (travel expenses, accommodation, etc.), appropriate mechanisms should be put in place to guarantee equal participation. No specific costs for sending organisations are foreseen.

            Module 4: EU Register

The costs in the table below assume 100% Commission financing of the Register with its development and operation outsourced to a third party through a competitive tender. The estimates for the service contracts for developing and maintaining the Register have been based on actual costs of other emergency rosters, with the assumption that the register is operated by a humanitarian organisation with costs similar to those in the organisations consulted.[25]

There would also be a requirement for Commission staff time in contract administration and oversight for which a provision of 10% of the service contract time has been made. It is assumed that the contract price rises to ~10% after 3 years due to increases in scale of activity.

Register || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Total (2014-20)

Development || 110,000 || || || || || || || 110,000

Maintenance/use || || 302,500 || 302,500 || 302,500 || 330,000 || 330,000 || 330,000 || 1,897,500

Total || 110,000 || 302,500 || 302,500 || 302,500 || 330,000 || 330,000 || 330,000 || 2,007,500

            Module 5: Standards and certification for hosting organisations

The costs are calculated on the assumption that the work would be contracted out. Similar initiatives such as the Sphere standards have been used as benchmark.[26] 100% Commission financing is assumed, including the development, maintenance and revision of the standards, the latter also covering events, workshops and other promotional material, and the publication and dissemination of standards. As for the Register, a requirement for Commission staff time for contract administration and oversight of 10% of the service contract time has been made.

The development of standards is assumed to take 2 years, based on previous experiences. A revision is foreseen every 5 years. As it may be cumbersome for organisations to implement the certification mechanism, 100% co-funding is assumed. As organisations are scattered around the globe a higher unit costs of certification than in Module 2 is assumed (25.000 EUR). 2014 and 2015 would be dedicated to the development and promotion; uptake starts in 2016 with 5 organisations growing to 20 in 2020. As for the certification for sending organisations, hosting organisations will need to re-certify after three years.

Standards and certification host organisations || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Total 2014 2020

Development || 190.000 || 148.000 || || || || || || 338.000

Monitoring & admin. || || || || 30.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || || 90.000

Update || || || || || || || 70.000 || 70.000

Subtotal || 190.000 || 148.000 || || 30.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || 70.000 || 498.000

Certification mechanism || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Total (2014-2020)

Development || 25.000 || 25.000 || 0 || 0 || 0 || 25.000 || 0 || 75.000

Maintenance/use || 0 || 0 || 125.000 || 250.000 || 300.000 || 375.000 || 500.000 || 1.550.000

Yearly take-up rate || || 0 || 5 || 10 || 12 || 15 || 20 || 62

Re-certification || || || || || || 125.000 || 250.000 || 375.000

Promotion || 0 || 40.000 || 40.000 || 40.000 || 40.000 || 40.000 || 40.000 || 240.000

Subtotal || 25.000 || 65.000 || 165.000 || 290.000 || 340.000 || 565.000 || 790.000 || 2.240.000

Total Module 5 || 215.000 || 213.000 || 165.000 || 320.000 || 370.000 || 595.000 || 860.000 || 2.738.000

No additional costs for volunteers or sending organisations are estimated. There might be limited costs for hosting organisations for complying with standards for the certification.

The table presents the implementation costs of option 2:

Modules || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Tot 2014-2020

1.Standards identification, select., training || 192.400 || 192.400 || 242.000 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 181.200 || 958.000

2.Certification mechanism || 55.000 || 215.000 || 230.000 || 270.000 || 490.000 || 655.000 || 670.000 || 2.585.000

3.Training EU volunteers || 3.853.880 || 4.596.480 || 5.042.340 || 5.893.100 || 7.034.640 || 8.403.120 || 10.045.240 || 44.868.800

4.EU Register || 110.000 || 302.500 || 302.500 || 302.500 || 330.000 || 330.000 || 330.000 || 2.007.500

5.Standards & certification hosting org. || 215.000 || 213.000 || 165.000 || 320.000 || 370.000 || 595.000 || 860.000 || 2.738.000

Total || 4.426.280 || 5.518.880 || 5.981.340 || 6.835.100 || 8.274.640 || 10.033.120 || 12.096.440 || 53.157.300

Management costs (10%)* || 442.628 || 551.938 || 598.184 || 683.560 || 827.464 || 1.003.312 || 1.208.644 || 5.217.900

* In case of outsourcing to an EA management costs would be 8% of the total (4.252.584€).

Option 3

The proposed approach, according to which an existing Executive Agency would supervise appropriate volunteers deployment options to humanitarian organisations, would ensure that the Voluntary Corps is linked with key stakeholders in the sector. The supervision of deployment would be retained by the Commission through a series of means. Firstly, only those volunteers that have passed the EU training course and been placed on the Corps Register would be eligible for deployment. This would ensure that the volunteers deployed are equipped to make a valuable contribution. Secondly, the Commission would keep the control through the Agency's oversight, which would ensure excellence and high EU visibility during deployment. Thirdly, the host organisations that receive the volunteers would be required to comply with the EU standards developed under Module 5.

The links between the different modules and conditions linked to deployment will help to ensure that there is a strong EU identity attached to the operations of the Voluntary Corps.

It is expected that this option would provide added value to the assisted populations by bringing additional qualified human resources in support of local host communities. In order to avoid possible 'distorting' impacts on the local labour market, it is essential that the contributions provided by the European volunteers are additional and preferably unique, offering something that local staff could not provide to the same extent (including through possible twinning approaches).

The capacity building module would strengthen third country hosting organisations; increase their absorption capacities; and ensure that volunteer skills and competencies are used effectively. This would in turn produce ‘spillover benefits’ beyond the Voluntary Corps, as the targeted organisations would be better equipped to support volunteers and participation in local communities more generally. At the same time, participation in the training would involve a commitment of time on the part of the hosting organisations, which may put an extra burden on the local staff.

As for volunteers, this option would allow them to realise the full benefits from their training and gain work experience that could be used for future employments, inside and outside the sector. In particular, the deployment would be useful for those young people who wish to pursue a career in humanitarian work.

Deployment would also bring cultural benefits for young volunteers, who would learn about new cultures and ways of living.

The Network of EU humanitarian volunteers would be beneficial for all EU volunteers; for third country staff and volunteers; and for those wanting to volunteer without deployment by providing access to online volunteering opportunities. It would provide a learning platform to exchange experiences; best practice; and to seek support. The Network would also help to spread widely the benefits of the Voluntary Corps and would contribute to increased EU visibility. Past volunteers would benefit from such a Network, as they would be able to stay in touch with other humanitarian aid professionals. This contact would also enhance their career development and keep them posted on any new opportunities.

Volunteers’ work with local communities and the support to hosting organisations would also bring potential benefits to the environment, notably through the improvement of natural disaster prevention and preparedness capacity. Some negative environmental impacts can be assumed by the travel of volunteers to trainings and to their locations of deployment worldwide.

The following table shows the additional impacts on the different categories of stakeholders:

|| Impacts

Stakeholder || Positive || Negative

EU sending organisations || - Would benefit from financial support for deployment of better trained volunteers - Would benefit from 'apprenticeship placements' fully funded by Commission - Improved capacities of hosting organisations would facilitate operations - Lessons learned from volunteers would contribute to improve institutional learning || - Some organisations may struggle to accommodate additional volunteers - Some potential for additional unfunded costs

Volunteers || - Work experience; contribute improving their attractiveness on the labour market. - Opportunity to learn more about different cultures - Access to advice/support from volunteers through Network - Career/professional benefits from Network || - Volunteers do not have a salary, unlike other deployment, which may mean a potential income loss

Hosting organisations || - Additional qualified resources addressing humanitarian needs - Improved management capacities and institutional strengthening || - Potential additional pressure on local infrastructures for receiving volunteers and for participating in training opportunities

Beneficiaries || - Additional qualified resources would primarily benefit local populations - Improved capacities of local organisations would ensure more effective local response to humanitarian needs - Exchanges through the Network would increase volunteers’ sensitiveness to local cultures and conditions || - Potential 'distorting' impact on local labour market (crowding out)

                       

              Contribution to the objectives

1. To improve the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid

The overall humanitarian aid capacity of the Union would be improved as the volunteers who have been selected and trained would then be deployed to field operations in the framework of EU interventions. The contribution will vary, depending on the volunteers’ profile and specific tasks to they will perform. Furthermore, volunteers having been deployed could also act as ‘ambassadors’ for the EU Voluntary Corps and Humanitarian Aid in general (also using targeted funds for post deployment awareness raising activities).

2. To improve the skills and competences of volunteers and their working conditions

 The training and the deployment to the field would allow EU volunteers to gain a concrete work experience in humanitarian aid and further improve their skills set, which would make them more attractive to the labour market. The deployment and the EU community would in particular be useful for those wanting to start a career in humanitarian aid. There is also a cultural benefit, as volunteers would get an opportunity not only to help communities, but also to learn about new cultures and ways of living. Early indications from the pilot project shows that Corps volunteers quickly moved into humanitarian employment.

3. To promote the visibility of the Union’s humanitarian values

  The EU visibility would be enhanced through the deployment of Voluntary Corps volunteers in third countries. This would be further enhanced by the direct support provided to hosting organisations through capacity building activities, as well as the establishment of the Network of humanitarian volunteers.

4. To build capacities of hosting organisations in third countries

The deployment of EU volunteers to third countries, associated with capacity building activities for hosting organisations (module 7) would ensure that staff and volunteers of those organisations will benefit from the Voluntary Corps. This is likely to produce sustainable impacts on local communities and have multiplier effects.

5. To enhance the coherence/consistency across Member States in order to improve opportunities for European citizens to participate in humanitarian aid operations

This option would give the possibility to all sending organisations across the EU to benefit from financial support for deploying volunteers in humanitarian aid operations. This option would in particular benefit those organisations from EU Member States where access to national financing sources for deployment is limited. The Network would also allow sending organisations from all over Europe to learn from the experiences of volunteers having been deployed with the support of the Voluntary Corps, which is likely to contribute to the improvement of institutional learning and to a more consistent development of the voluntary sector. The combination of training; apprenticeship placements and strengthened management capacities of the hosting organisations in third countries would also encourage EU citizens wanting to express their solidarity to engage in volunteering. The 'community' would allow citizens to get involved without deployment through online volunteering opportunities.

6. To strengthen the identification and selection criteria of volunteers

As for Option 1 and 2, the identification and selection criteria, as well as the whole recruitment processes and systems would be more transparent and effective. The activities with hosting organisations would also reinforce their own systems for managing staff and volunteers (including identification and selection criteria).

Implementation costs

Module 5: Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations

It is expected that in option 3 many more local organisations will be interested in getting certification, especially if the deployment of EU volunteers is made conditional to these organisations complying with the standards. As under option 2, 100% co-financing and a unit costs of certification of 25.000 EUR is assumed. The total number of hosting organisations being certified is expected to be higher than those of sending organisations as typically small hosting organisations may not be able to host more than one or two volunteers at a time whereas sending organisations typically send larger groups of volunteers. Uptake starts in 2016 with 5 organisations growing to 100 in 2020.

Standards and certification host organisations || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Total (2014-2020)

Development of standards || 190.000 || 148.000 || || || || || || 338.000

Monitoring & administration || || || || 30.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || || 90.000

Update || || || || || || || 70.000 || 70.000

Subtotal || 190.000 || 148.000 || || 30.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || 70.000 || 498.000

Certification mechanism || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Total (2014-2020)

Development || 25.000 || 25.000 || 0 || 0 || 0 || 25.000 || 0 || 75.000

Maintenance/use || 0 || 0 || 125.000 || 250.000 || 750.000 || 1.250.000 || 2.500.000 || 4.875.000

Yearly take-up rate || || 0 || 5 || 10 || 30 || 50 || 100 || 195

Re-certification || || || || || || 125.000 || 250.000 || 375.000

Promotion || 0 || 40.000 || 40.000 || 40.000 || 40.000 || 40.000 || 40.000 || 240.000

Subtotal || 25.000 || 65.000 || 165.000 || 290.000 || 790.000 || 1.440.000 || 2.790.000 || 5.565.000

Total Module 5 || 215.000 || 213.000 || 165.000 || 320.000 || 820.000 || 1.470.000 || 2.860.000 || 6.063.000

            Module 6:  Deployment of volunteers

Two components are envisaged for deployment:

- ‘Apprenticeship placements' of on an average 6 months for young volunteers having been trained with the Voluntary Corps in order to give them practical experience before direct deployment in humanitarian aid and civil protection interventions of a humanitarian character. Numbers would mirror the recruitment into the training programme. The Commission would finance 100% of the deployment.

- ‘Regular’ deployment by implementing partners, with a Commission co-financing rate of 80%, while the remaining 20% will be financed by sending organisations.  

It is assumed that 90% of those participating in apprenticeship training would go on to participate as long term regular volunteers, whilst 50% of those trained as 'expert volunteers' would go on to long deployment as volunteers and 50 % on short term deployment.  

The total number of these different types of placements would amount to 9,604 in 2020. Some of the costs that the EU would cover (for both types of deployment) include administrative costs (medical checks, insurance, visa, and travel to/from host country and local travels), plus a personal allowance. There would not be any additional cost for volunteers during deployment. Finally, this module foresees a budget for visibility packages allowing volunteers after their deployment to organize events to promote their experience (similar to the EVS volunteers).

Deployment of EU volunteers || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Total  (2014-20)

Apprenticeship placements - 6 months, 100% financing

N° of volunteers || 0 || 324 || 389 || 467 || 560 || 672 || 806 || 3.218

Costs || 0 || 2.980.800 || 3.578.800 || 4.296.400 || 5.152.000 || 6.182.400 || 7.415.200 || 29.605.600

Regular deployment - long term (average 1 year), 80% co-financing

N° of volunteers || 135 || 454 || 545 || 654 || 784 || 941 || 1.128 || 4.641

Costs || 2.484.000 || 8.353.600 || 10.028.000 || 12.033.600 || 14.425.600 || 17.314.400 || 20.755.200 || 85.394.400

Regular deployment - short term (average 1 month), 80% co-financing

N° of volunteers || 135 || 162 || 195 || 234 || 280 || 336 || 403 || 1.745

Costs || 847.800 || 1.017.360 || 1.224.600 || 1.469.520 || 1.758.400 || 2.110.080 || 2.530.840 || 10.958.600

Total costs regular  deployment || 3.331.800 || 9.370.960 || 11.252.600 || 13.503.120 || 16.184.000 || 19.424.480 || 23.286.040 || 96.353.000

Costs regular deploy. for EU 80% || 2.665.440 || 7.496.768 || 9.002.080 || 10.802.496 || 12.947.200 || 15.539.584 || 18.628.832 || 77.082.400

Costs regular deploy. for partners 20% || 666.360 || 1.874.192 || 2.250.520 || 2.700.624 || 3.236.800 || 3.884.896 || 4.657.208 || 19.270.600

Total N° of volunteers (apprent. + regular) || 270 || 940 || 1.129 || 1.355 || 1.624 || 1.949 || 2.337 || 9.604

Visibility package after deployment || 270.000 || 940.000 || 1.129.000 || 1.355.000 || 1.624.000 || 1.949.000 || 2.337.000 || 9.604.000

Promotion & communication || 1.000.000 || 20.000 || 20.000 || 1.000.000 || 20.000 || 20.000 || 20.000 || 2.100.000

Total EU deployment costs || 3.935.440 || 11.437.568 || 13.729.880 || 17.453.896 || 19.743.200 || 23.690.984 || 28.401.032 || 118.392.000

This scenario assumes a Commission co-financing rate of 80% for regular deployment. Should the Commission finance 100%, costs for deployment would be EUR19M higher.

            Module 7: Building capacities in third country hosting organisations

The main items that are taken into account in the calculation of costs are the development of training material in several languages (outsourced); the costs related to training; seminars and the delivery of the 'Humanitarian Leadership' scheme (travel costs; per diems; accommodation costs); and the Commission staff costs (management, supervision, liaison with contractors, etc.). Trainings are assumed to cost on average 5,410 EUR / person and beneficiaries for the different trainings would be designated at an averaged ratio of one trainee for every four EU volunteers deployed. For the 'Humanitarian Leadership" programme we assume 1 participant for every 20 volunteers deployed. The total number of direct beneficiaries of all activities would rise from 382 in 2014 to 1,601 in 2020, a cumulated total of 7,081. 

Capacity Building || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Total  (2014-20)

Development of training material || 145.000 || 145.000 || 20.000 || 20.000 || 20.000 || 80.000 || 20.000 || 450.000

Training for volunteer managers / coaches / train the trainers

Total N° trained || 68 || 235 || 282 || 339 || 406 || 487 || 584 || 2.401

Costs || 367.880 || 1.271.350 || 1.525.620 || 1.833.990 || 2.196.460 || 2.634.670 || 3.159.440 || 12.989.410

Regional South-South seminars for good practice exchange

N° of participants || 300 || 400 || 500 || 600 || 700 || 800 || 900 || 4.200

Costs || 750.000 || 1.000.000 || 1.250.000 || 1.500.000 || 1.750.000 || 2.000.000 || 2.250.000 || 10.500.000

"Humanitarian Leadership" programme 

N° of people participating || 14 || 47 || 56 || 68 || 81 || 97 || 117 || 480

Costs   || 125.244 || 420.462 || 500.976 || 608.328 || 724.626 || 867.762 || 1.046.682 || 4.294.080

Total N° of beneficiaries || 382 || 682 || 838 || 1.007 || 1.187 || 1.384 || 1.601 || 7.081

Promotion || 500.000 || 500.000 || 45.000 || 45.000 || 45.000 || 45.000 || 45.000 || 1.225.000

Total costs || 1.888.124 || 3.336.812 || 3.341.596 || 4.007.318 || 4.736.086 || 5.627.432 || 6.521.122 || 29.458.490

            Module 8: EU Network of humanitarian volunteers

It is assumed that the Commission would outsource this module to a specialised company. The costs include the technical and administrative staff for the development, maintenance and facilitation of the website and the interactive tools (including promotional events).

EU Network of volunteers || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Total (2012-20)

System development || 1.000.000 || || || 250.000 || || || 50.000 || 1.300.000

Alumni activities, conferences/seminars || 250.000 || 500.000 || 250.000 || 500.000 || 250.000 || 500.000 || 250.000 || 2.500.000

Maintenance || 200.000 || 300.000 || 400.000 || 400.000 || 400.000 || 400.000 || 400.000 || 2.500.000

Evaluation || || || || 50.000 || || || || 50.000

Promotion || 75.000 || 25.000 || 25.000 || 25.000 || 25.000 || 25.000 || 25.000 || 225.000

Total || 1.525.000 || 825.000 || 675.000 || 1.225.000 || 675.000 || 925.000 || 725.000 || 6.575.000

The implementing costs for option 3 would be as follows:

Modules || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Tot 2014-2020

1.Standards identification, select, training || 192.400 || 192.400 || 242.400 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 181.200 || 958.400

2.Certification mechanism || 55.000 || 215.000 || 230.000 || 270.000 || 490.000 || 655.000 || 670.000 || 2.585.000

3.Training EU volunteers || 3.853.880 || 4.596.480 || 5.042.340 || 5.893.100 || 7.034.640 || 8.403.120 || 10.045.240 || 44.868.800

4.EU Register || 110.000 || 302.500 || 302.500 || 302.500 || 330.000 || 330.000 || 330.000 || 2.007.500

5.Standards & certification hosting org. || 215.000 || 213.000 || 165.000 || 320.000 || 820.000 || 1.470.000 || 2.860.000 || 6.063.000

6.Deployment of volunteers || 3.953.440 || 11.437.568 || 13.729.880 || 17.453.896 || 19.743.200 || 23.690.984 || 28.401.032 || 118.392.000

7. Building capacities in hosting org. || 1.888.124 || 3.336.812 || 3.341.596 || 4.007.318 || 4.736.086 || 5.627.423 || 6.521.122 || 29.458.490

8. EU network volunteers || 1.525.000 || 825.000 || 675.000 || 1.225.000 || 675.000 || 925.000 || 725.000 || 6.575.000

Total || 11.792.844 || 21.118.760 || 23.728.716 || 29.521.814 || 33.878.926 || 41.151.527 || 49.733.594 || 210.926.181

Management costs (10%) || 1.179.284 || 2.111.876 || 2.372.872 || 2.952.181 || 3.387.893 || 4.115.153 || 4.973.359 || 21.092.618

* In case of outsourcing to an EA management costs would be 8% of the total (€16.874.094).

Option 4

This option includes the same modules as option 3 but assumes that each component of option 3 is directly managed by the European Commission.

This way of managing the selection for deployment of volunteers would imply the following. It would involve the same level of control of the Commission over the training of volunteers as in option 3 and the establishment of a Register. As for deployment, the Commission or the Agency would control the final selection and placement of volunteers, who would then be embedded in humanitarian aid projects in the field after being selected. This option would not follow the usual way of the Commission in delivering humanitarian aid, i.e. working with implementing humanitarian partner organisations. The influence that the Commission can have on visibility and ‘marketing’ of the Voluntary Corps would be the same as in option 3.

Option 4 would imply a change in the management of financial support to volunteers in the Voluntary Corps as compared to the aid workers presently financed through partners in EU humanitarian aid. The change would imply additional administrative costs for the Commission in terms of human resources[27].

In order to mange effectively the deployment of volunteers under Option 4, a robust internal governance structure and day-to-day liaison arrangements should be developed by the Commission services. However, this set-up would limit the 'ownership' by humanitarian partner organisations (as they would be much less involved), which would in turn reduce the incentive for an enhanced quality in humanitarian volunteering. It seems likely that the rate at which the scale of Voluntary Corps activities could grow would be somewhat lower under option 4.

At the same time, given this limited ‘absorption capacity’, it is likely that the deployment opportunities would be limited, also due to the fact that humanitarian organisations may less readily accept to deploy volunteers who have not been chosen by them. Furthermore, it would be more difficult for the Commission (or the Executive Agency) to match the profiles of volunteers with the needs in the field. A smaller scale of deployment would in turn translate into more limited benefits to host communities and to overall capacity in the sector. Volunteers would also be more ‘disconnected’ from the implementing organisations and local communities assisted by humanitarian aid.

The environmental impacts are comparable to those in Option 3 although slightly lower as to the carbon footprint due to fewer deployment foreseen.

The following table shows the additional impacts on the different categories of stakeholders:

|| Impacts

Stakeholder || Positive || Negative

EU sending organisations || - Improved qualifications of volunteers (potential future humanitarian aid workers) || - New competitive actor in the humanitarian aid system - Little control over volunteers deployed and less interest in getting involved

Volunteers || - Good quality of training and conditions of deployment || - Reduced number of deployment opportunities - Limited contacts with local communities and beneficiaries

Hosting organisations || - Higher visibility vis-à-vis the EU || - Reduced number of volunteers deployed - Volunteers would be more ‘disconnected’ from organisations

Beneficiaries || - Quality of volunteers contributions || - Reduced number of volunteers deployed - Volunteers more ‘disconnected’ from local communities

                       

              Contribution to the objectives

1. To improve the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid

The overall humanitarian aid capacity of the Union would also be improved as in for Option 3. However, the need to set-up of new mechanisms and management structures and the limited number of volunteers deployed in the field hamper the potential of the Voluntary Corps to contribute to the improvement of EU capacity in humanitarian aid. Given the change in the implementation modalities (humanitarian partners would not be involved in deployment), this option is expected to be less effective. 

2. To improve the skills and competences of volunteers and their working conditions

Impacts are similar to option 3: The volunteers’ skills set would be improved through training and deployment in the EU offices in third countries. Direct contact with the EU structures would allow volunteers to improve their knowledge of the EU policies and implementation mechanisms.

3. To promote the visibility of the Union’s humanitarian values

Direct management would allow for higher visibility of the EU and the creation of an ‘esprit de Corps’. At the same time, the reduced number of deployment in the field would limit the impact of the Voluntary Corps outside the EU.

4. To build capacities of hosting organisations in third countries

The impacts would be similar to option 3, though the deployment of fewer volunteers could be a limiting factor for the strengthening of local capacities.

5. To enhance the coherence/consistency across Member States in order to improve opportunities for European citizens to participate in humanitarian aid operations

While the direct management of the Voluntary Corps would ensure a strong steering of the different activities, this would not necessarily increase the consistency of the existing voluntary schemes across Member States as those organisations would not be directly involved in the activities of the Voluntary Corps. The fact that the management of the Voluntary Corps’ activities would be centralised might act as a hindrance to wide-spread EU participation of those who are interested in volunteering in humanitarian aid. The reduced number of opportunities for deployment would also be a limiting factor.

6. To strengthen the identification and selection criteria of volunteers

The impacts would be similar to Option 3.

              Implementing costs

The costs for modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 are assumed to be similar to the ones in option 3.[28]

The main difference would regard the costs of deployment (Module 6). Management costs per volunteer deployed would be higher in a direct management model, mainly because the unit cost of human resources and overheads in Commission services (or Agency) are higher than those of external service providers – the administrative overheads of operating the programme will be proportionately higher. As the sending organisations would not been involved in the selection of volunteers, they would be reluctant to engage in co-financing. For this reason, it is assumed in this option 4 that the EU would cover 100% of deployment costs. At the same time, should option 4 be chosen, the Commission could consider asking a service fee to the organisations getting trained volunteers.

For the reasons previously mentioned, the direct management mode is expected to lead to lower levels of deployment of volunteers. It is assumed that this option would lead to not more than 60% of deployment of those reached under the partnership model in Option 3.

Deployment of EU volunteers || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Total  (2014-20)

Apprenticeship placements - 6 months, 100% financing

N° of volunteers || 0 || 324 || 389 || 467 || 560 || 672 || 806 || 3.218

Costs || 0 || 2.980.800 || 3.578.800 || 4.296.400 || 5.152.000 || 6.182.400 || 7.415.200 || 29.605.600

Regular deployment - long-term average 1 year, 100% financing

N° of volunteers || 81 || 272 || 327 || 392 || 470 || 564 || 676 || 2.782

Costs || 2.146.500 || 7.208.000 || 8.665.500 || 10.388.000 || 12.455.000 || 14.946.000 || 17.914.000 || 73.723.000

Regular deployment - short term average 1 month, 100% financing

N° of volunteers || 81 || 97 || 117 || 140 || 168 || 201 || 241 || 1.045

Costs || 763.020 || 913.740 || 1.102.140 || 1.318.800 || 1.582.560 || 1.893.420 || 2.270.220 || 9.843.900

Total cost deployment || 2.909.520 || 8.121.740 || 9.767.640 || 11.706.800 || 14.037.560 || 16.839.420 || 20.184.220 || 83.566.900

Total n. volunteers (apprent + regular) || 162 || 693 || 833 || 999 || 1198 || 1437 || 1723 || 7.045

Visibility package after deployment || 162.000 || 369.360 || 443.460 || 532.380 || 638.400 || 766.080 || 918.840 || 3.830.520

Promotion & communication || 1.500.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || 1.500.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || 30.000 || 3.150.000

Total costs EU (apprent.+regular) || 4.571.520 || 11.501.900 || 13.819.900 || 18.035.580 || 19.857.960 || 23.817.900 || 28.548.260 || 120.153.020

The costs of deployment would be around EUR 120M (within the allocation for the MFF 2014-2020) for deploying 60% of volunteers compared to option 3. The costs for the volunteers would be similar to option 3, while there wouldn’t be any additional costs for sending organisation as 100% would be financed by the Commission. However, the administrative costs for staff and management would be much higher.

The implementing costs for option 4 would be:

Modules || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || Tot 2014-2020

1.Standards identification, select, training || 192.400 || 192.400 || 242.400 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 50.000 || 181.200 || 958.400

2.Certification mechanism || 55.000 || 215.000 || 230.000 || 270.000 || 490.000 || 655.000 || 670.000 || 2.585.000

3.Training EU volunteers || 3.853.880 || 4.596.480 || 5.042.340 || 5.893.100 || 7.034.640 || 8.403.120 || 10.045.240 || 44.868.800

4.EU Register || 110.000 || 302.500 || 302.500 || 302.500 || 330.000 || 330.000 || 330.000 || 2.007.500

5.Standards & certification hosting org. || 215.000 || 213.000 || 165.000 || 320.000 || 820.000 || 1.470.000 || 2.860.000 || 6.063.000

6.Deployment of volunteers || 4.571.520 || 11.501.900 || 13.819.900 || 18.035.580 || 19.857.960 || 23.817.900 || 28.548.260 || 120.153.020

7. Building capacities in hosting org. || 1.888.124 || 3.336.812 || 3.341.596 || 4.007.318 || 4.736.086 || 5.627.423 || 6.521.122 || 29.458.481

8. EU network humanitarian volunteers || 1.525.000 || 825.000 || 675.000 || 1.225.000 || 675.000 || 925.000 || 725.000 || 6.575.000

Total || 12.410.924 || 21.183.092 || 23.818.736 || 30.103.498 || 33.993.686 || 41.278.443 || 49.880.822 || 212.669.201

7. Comparison of options

When comparing the four policy options, it should be noted that the four options are of increasing ambition or scope i.e. from a minimalist option 1 to an extensive and directly managed option 4. The comparisons of the options are made by assessing how much more the more extensive options contribute to the specific objectives (effectiveness). This assessment can then be compared to the resources needed to achieve those objectives (efficiency). The selection of the preferred option is based on this two criteria, as well as the coherence with the overall humanitarian aid policies. The varying extensiveness of the different options also gives rise to different risks during the actual implementation.

The table below summarises the comparison of options. This is done by applying a scoring system where scores from +, ++ or +++ are assigned, signifying low, medium or high positive impacts. Note that some of the scores have been enclosed in brackets (), indicating that the assessments are connected with more uncertainty (also linked to the risks identified). The table also contains the total implementation cost figures for the four policy options to enable an approximate assessment of efficiency.

|| Baseline scenario || Option 1 || Option 2 || Option 3 || Option 4

Specific objectives || || || || ||

To improve the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid || (+) || (+) || ++ || +++ || ++

To improve the skills and competences of volunteers and their working conditions || (+) || (+) || ++ || +++ || ++

To promote the visibility of the Union’s humanitarian values || (+) || (+) || + || +++ || +++

To build capacities of hosting organisations in third countries || - || - || + || +++ || +++

To enhance coherence across Member States in order to improve opportunities for European citizens to participate in humanitarian aid || - || (+) || (++) || ++ || (+)

To strengthen the identification and selection criteria for volunteers || + || ++ || ++ || +++ || +++

Implementation costs 2014-2020 || || EUR 3 million || EUR 52  million || EUR 210 million || EUR 212 million

Number of volunteers deployed || - || - || - || 9.604 || 7.045

The impacts on voluntary schemes are of different nature and size. Option 1 would create the conditions for an increased transparency and consistency of the recruitment processes and training of volunteers across Member States, and could encourage sending organisations to align their approaches. However, impacts and synergies effects depend on the level of uptake across organisations. The impacts of option 2 on voluntary schemes would also be indirect. The Voluntary Corps training could have a 'leverage effect' on the training activities offered by other humanitarian actors. Voluntary organisations would also have facilitated access to volunteers through the Register.

Option 3 would further add the possibility to all voluntary organisations across the EU to benefit from financial support for deploying volunteers in humanitarian aid operations, thus strengthening the whole sector. Option 4 would have a more limited impact in that the sending organisations would have only a marginal role in the Voluntary Corps, especially for the deployment of volunteers.

As for volunteers, the different options contribute to their qualifications to an increasing degree. Option 1 mainly enables the Voluntary Corps volunteers to display on their CVs that they have been selected/engaged by a certified organisation, and it provides for a higher level of knowledge about what to expect from volunteering through different organisations. Option 2 directly contributes to volunteer qualifications via training, and increases their chance of deployment. Training and the Register would also provide a faster entry into volunteering, while the standards for host organisations would help volunteers to maximise their contribution when deployed and increase their job satisfaction.

Option 3 would help volunteers to gain a concrete work experience in the sector and further improve their qualifications through deployment, so to become more attractive for subsequent field experiences and increase their opportunities for future jobs. This is also likely to encourage EU citizens wanting to express their solidarity to engage in volunteering and make a concrete contribution to humanitarian aid (including for those who would otherwise have fewer opportunities). This will also contribute to increase the surge capacity of the humanitarian sector. The EU Network of humanitarian volunteers would also provide networking opportunities that would be particularly useful for those wanting to start a career in humanitarian aid. Finally, this option would bring cultural benefits, as volunteers would get an opportunity to learn about different cultures and ways of living.

Option 4 contains the same modules as option 3 and would bring the same benefits as above. However, the impact on volunteers would be limited by the reduced number of deployment. Furthermore, in addition to the extra administrative costs, the Commission/Agency management would reduce the accessibility by the partners and somewhat the participation. In option 4, the ownership of the humanitarian aid workers would be reduced as they have not themselves chosen the candidates. Effective match between volunteers' profiles and needs in the field would also be more difficult.

All the options would promote EU visibility, but to different degrees. In option 1, the impacts would depend on the level of uptake and how far they come to be identified as part of an EU initiative. Certificates may make EU volunteering standards more visible. Impacts on the promotion of EU visibility outside the EU would be very limited, due to the fact that this option does not imply any deployment. Option 2 would have an indirect impact on the promotion of EU visibility in third countries if and when trained volunteers are deployed.

The direct presence and support of the Voluntary Corps in the local communities is a central and direct way of displaying EU visibility, in particular if combined with adequate training that ensures that volunteers contribute significantly and positively (option 3). Option 3 will thus further reinforce the impacts of option 2, in particular in host communities. In option 3 and 4, the Commission would be able to directly influence how EU visibility and solidarity will be delivered with the volunteers' presence. In both option 3 and option 4 volunteers could also act as ‘ambassadors’ for the EU Voluntary Corps after having been deployed.

In conclusion, option 1 would have a limited impact on the objectives, depending on the level of uptake of standards and the willingness of voluntary organisations to subscribe to the certification mechanisms. Option 2 would improve the qualifications of volunteers and would create the conditions for more effective deployment and increased contribution of volunteers to the humanitarian aid sector. However, there would be no guarantee that the skills acquired by volunteers would actually be put at the service of the local populations. Option 3 would not only enhance the voluntary sector and support to volunteers in Europe, but would also include all the necessary elements for ensuring that volunteers actually contribute to the humanitarian aid interventions in third countries and thus contribute to the overall effectiveness and quality of humanitarian aid. Option 4 would imply much higher costs and a limited number of deployment opportunities due to management constraints, and would imply a different management approach to the rest of humanitarian aid and lack the opportunities of the partnership approach.

For these reasons, the preferred option is the option 3.

8. Arrangements for monitoring and evaluation

Monitoring

A standing monitoring system will follow the progress of the programme in the achievement of its objectives. It will be based on a number of indicators, consistently compiled and measured by the implementing body.  The monitoring system will allow tracking of the level of achievement of the operational objectives of the scheme, will provide indications as to the achievement of its specific objectives and will provide guidance for adjusting the implementation of the programme in light of experience.

The core indicators for monitoring will be the following:

Specific objective || Indicators

To improve the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid || · Number of volunteers deployed or ready for deployment · Number of certified sending and hosting organisations

To improve the skills and competences of volunteers and their working conditions || · Number of volunteers trained and quality of training (based on peer reviews and level of satisfaction) · Number of certified sending and hosting organisations applying the standards for deployment and management of European volunteers

To promote the visibility of the Union’s humanitarian values || · European volunteers’ level of knowledge about EU humanitarian aid · Level of awareness about the Voluntary Corps among the targeted population of the Union the benefitting third countries communities and the international humanitarian community

To build capacities of hosting organisations in third countries   || · Number and type of capacity building actions · Number of third country staff and local volunteers participating in capacity building actions

To enhance coherence across Member States in order to improve opportunities for European citizens to participate in humanitarian aid || · Number of certified sending organisations · Dissemination and replication of the standards for management of European volunteers by other voluntary schemes

To strengthen the identification and selection criteria for volunteers || · Number of sending organisations making use of standards ·  Level of satisfaction of sending organisations manager  

These indicators may be completed by additional ones according to the needs in terms of management and decision-making.

Evaluation

A mid-term evaluation of the scheme will be carried out three years after the actual start of the activities. A final evaluation is foreseen at the end of the programme. Additional evaluation studies on specific aspects of the scheme may be launched at any time during the implementation of the scheme, should it appear necessary to adjust or reshape any part of the scheme.

9. Annexes

1. Executive summary of 2010 Review

2. Analysis report of the open public consultation

3. Pilot projects 2011-2012 factsheets

4. Example of existing training schemes

5. List of stakeholders consulted

ANNEX 1

EC Reference N°: D 284210, ECHO /ADM/BUD/2010/01207 Internal Project N°: GMX EC 16 - 2010 Review Team: Mr Michel Van Bruaene (Team Leader) Mr Jonathan Potter Mr Michael Kunze

           

FINAL REPORT Review concerning the establishment of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps Implementation: July – October 2010 prepared for: European Commission Directorate - General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection - ECHO ECHO 01 – Evaluation Sector Aachen, 26th November 2010

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A.1. Objectives of the Review (Section B.1.2 of the main report)

The article 214.5 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), foresees the setting up of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps. The acronym “EVHAC”, which can be misleading for several reasons, will be used in the present report for convenience purposes.

The overall objective of this review is to support the Commission in setting up a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps by (i) conducting an analysis of existing voluntary schemes, (ii) identifying the structure, scope and focus of possible implementing options and (iii) assessing the cost of these options.

The TOR also took into consideration current trends and needs of volunteering, such as professionalism, focus on demand-driven approaches, on capacity building of local counterparts, or the wider LRRD[29] scope of humanitarian-related activities from preparedness and civil protection to recovery.

A.2. Approaches (Section B.1.2)

The review was carried out over a period of 10 weeks (between July and September 2010) by a team of 3 consultants. All of them had taken part in the previous EVHAC Review carried out in 2005 and 2006, which provided comprehensive background information.

A first phase of the review was dedicated to a wide literature review (Annex D) and to the preparation of survey questionnaires. An Aide Memoire was submitted to DG ECHO mid-August.

During the second phase, survey questionnaires were sent to 182 FPA partners of DG ECHO, all HAC members and Civil Protection National Contact Points, as well as to identified returned volunteers. In parallel, key stakeholders were visited in Brussels, Germany, Geneva, UK and Paris; others were approached by phone, mail and dedicated questionnaires (Annexes E - F). A brief field mission was also carried out in Haiti, to collect lessons regarding the involvement of international volunteers in this recent major crisis (Annex G). The draft report was submitted in due time before the dedicated stakeholders’ conference, at the end of September. The scope of work was somewhat constrained by the limited period of time allocated for the review, which took place mostly during the months of summer holidays.

A.3. Key Findings and Lessons Learned (Section B.2, Annexes D - G)

There was a consistency in the findings from the successive phases of research and from the variety of sources. The following paragraphs summarise the key findings and lessons by theme, along with the conclusions or recommendations which the team drew from those findings (recommendations are further detailed in B.3). Fuller details of findings themselves, organised by sources and stakeholders, can be found in Annex F.

A.3.1. Present involvement of volunteers in humanitarian actions with DG ECHO partners Of the respondents to the DG ECHO partner survey (46 of about 182 invited), the majority stated that they involve volunteers in their humanitarian activities, although very few would do so in emergency relief operations / man-made crises, and never with young unskilled volunteers. Volunteers deployed to international projects are mostly used for their specialised technical skills, generally for periods of less than 6 months. They are either young professionals, freshly graduated, or experienced ones. Where it relates to assignments inside the EU, organisations generally take on as volunteers young people still undergoing studies or those just graduated in relevant sectors, essentially for auxiliary support services or general administrative work. The majority of the responding organisations also indicated that they are planning to create new posts for experienced volunteers or young professionals in the near future, although the actual number of posts is quite limited. An EVS (European Voluntary Service) National Agency stated that the demand from interested youth is very high and that there is potential to increase the numbers of volunteers were there more funds available.

The reality of involving volunteers in today’s humanitarian activities follows in general a needs based, rational approach: younger (less experienced) volunteers are mostly involved in the EU, and experienced and well trained volunteers are deployed to third countries. The review recommends that EVHAC reflect this approach to ensure the involvement of different groups of volunteers. 

A.3.2. The key operational criteria for EVHAC are to respond to needs and to do no harm. These points were stressed by an overwhelming majority of interviewees and respondents to surveys; they were also summarised, together with most of the key issues below, in a joint position paper by ICRC, IFRC, OCHA and VOICE. Examples given by respondents were that European volunteers must not deprive locals of jobs or their own opportunities to volunteer; that volunteers must not be a security risk to themselves or others; that EVHAC should not distract from the sector’s move towards professionalism (see section A.3.2 on training and standards); that volunteers should do only work required by the community or the operational agency (not work primarily aimed at benefitting the volunteer).

The key lesson from comparing the responses from Haiti to those from a similar visit to Sri Lanka in 2006 is that the added value of European volunteers will be affected by factors such as the local post-disaster situation, the local culture and particularly the strength of local civil society. It will be important in every post-disaster situation for a needs assessment to be undertaken to understand the skills needed and the optimal timing for the different skill levels of volunteers, as well as the capacity of the country (accommodation, food etc) and organisations (management time, tasks identified) to receive them.

To ensure buy-in from the humanitarian community (European and in-country) and adherence to principles of humanitarian action, the recommendations of the review are based on this premise of responding to need. To achieve this the review advocates a transparent partnership approach in setting up EVHAC, involving potential users of EVHAC volunteers during the setting-up stage and beyond (e.g. specific working groups) to base its activities on actual needs. It was also clear from responses that EVHAC-supported activities need to encompass the wider framework of humanitarian aid, from pre- to post-disaster work, and the full range of LRRD activities.

A.3.3. EVHAC should add value to existing schemes, without duplicating or competing. There are a large number of existing volunteer schemes within and outside Europe, defining volunteer in many different ways and ranging from basic induction for unskilled youth to specialised rosters for professionals. Implementing organisations prefer to seek experienced experts for third country deployment, as well as some young professionals as trainees for career-entry schemes. Rosters for highly trained experts (including volunteers in some cases but not all) are operated by civil protection actors, some UN agencies such as OCHA[30], UN Volunteers and UNHCR.  The definition of what a volunteer is varies significantly: unpaid, trainee or experienced with stipend, etc. Volunteering organisations and networks often offer simultaneously several models of volunteering, which correspond to the demands of their respective target groups.

Some respondents provided useful suggestions regarding the possible role of EVHAC, to be focused on: (i) cooperating with the existing “diversity of actors” in EU humanitarian aid and civil protection, rather than setting up new schemes; and (ii) supporting actively the sector with services such as the development of common standards and guidelines as well as with the development of training modules for volunteers.

In considering the different groups of volunteers, the review suggests a stepped approach (“3 levels of volunteering”, described in B.3.1.2) in order to ensure EVHAC is of relevance to significant numbers of implementing partners and volunteers. A contribution by EVHAC to strengthening European volunteer involvement would be to support existing schemes such as career entry schemes, roster services, emergency response units, youth organisations of implementing organisations, etc. The matter of paying volunteers is dealt with in A.3.5. The review takes into account the respondents’ views that third country deployment of young (in-experienced) volunteers generally provides a low added value for the beneficiaries (depending on preparation, duration, support), since such schemes are mostly focused on the personal development of the young volunteers. Coordination should also be sought with the new Youth on the Move initiative[31], in matters of e.g. vocational training, certificates and cooperation with the EURES job portal[32].  

There are several options for EVHAC to deal with rosters of experts. EVHAC may either operate its own roster/database, which would require extensive work and entail risks of duplication or confusion, and/or coordinate with existing rosters. It could also delegate the roster work for some specific sectors or skills to existing and well-functioning registers. An alternative would be to establish a “clearing house” database which would either collate needs identified at field level and trigger pre-existing arrangements with rosters, or/and try to match needs with offers from EU civil society actors or individuals.

A trade-off between co-financing by EVHAC of humanitarian volunteering projects and co-branding would be favourably envisaged by many key volunteer-sending organisations, provided that modalities can be discussed in working or focus groups.

A.3.4. EVHAC could add value in contributing to strengthening a conducive environment for volunteering. Some lessons learnt outline the frequent legal problems for volunteers (visas, work permits) and the lack of a consistent legal framework within Europe. A key role of facilitation and coordination on the legal issues would be needed at the EU level, in coordination with e.g. the IDRL (International Disaster Response Laws, Rules and Principles)/IFRC and the UN. Many respondents outlined also the need for the recognition at EU level of volunteering assignments and of skills gained in this context. Conducive frameworks exist already in the UK and in Germany, although improvements may be needed. Such an environment has also recently been enhanced in France, with the adoption in 2005 of a law on volunteering contracts, and the creation in early 2010 of the “France Volontaires” platform.

Recognising that there are a variety of gaps in the current patterns of service provision to volunteers expressed by those organisations involving volunteers, the review suggests EVHAC address some of the priority service components for volunteering. These would include training support, information provision, strengthening of recognition, facilitation functions for visa / work permits, insurance matters. IFRC further recommended discussions in working groups to define possible cooperation in matters of e.g. IDRL and harmonized legal status and recognition for European volunteers in the EU and abroad.

A.3.5. “Volunteering is not for free”. This statement by returned volunteers applies to both sending organisations and the volunteers themselves. Almost all Europeans/Americans (aside from the initial flood of faith-based groups) who were volunteering in Haiti were paid more than expenses, some being paid their full salaries by employers willing to let their staff member volunteer, or by governments through nationally funded schemes. However, despite receiving some kind of remuneration/stipend, many volunteers also stated that they have contributed financially themselves to their mission. The successive tasks of identification, recruitment, training, integration, and supervision and returnee care services are very demanding and costly; a majority of actors expressed therefore their need for funding and supporting services, to ensure inclusivity and enable a larger number of volunteers to get involved in humanitarian assistance.

This finding requires EVHAC to consider and to define remuneration and compensation schemes (e.g. by level of volunteering) – benchmarked with the remuneration approach of existing schemes to prevent “market distortion”. It also makes EU support for volunteering a costly exercise but will offer opportunities for greater inclusivity.

A.3.6. The question of professionalism and training of the volunteers. Lessons learnt from volunteers’ involvements in previous humanitarian crises point to a number of recurrent patterns, e.g. the need for experienced, skilled volunteers rather than young unskilled ones (at least during the first 6 months of an emergency), the need for long-term commitments by volunteers, the need for structured training (security, cultural sensitization, language skills), and a code of practice for volunteers. Respondents to the different surveys confirmed the need for targeted training and mission preparation as well as for development of common standards and guidelines for the management and training of volunteers. The major challenges mentioned by sending organisations are (i) the identification and recruitment of suitable volunteers and (ii) the training and preparation of volunteers and iii) organisational capacity to manage them.

Responding to the expressed needs of the actors for professionalism and training, one suggested field of activity for EVHAC is to support training and promote volunteer management standards and guidelines. The review further recommends cooperation to be established with some EU government-funded schemes for introducing young people, often unskilled or with fewer opportunities, to humanitarian-related values and vocational training, through projects of variable duration in the EU or in safe areas abroad (Weltwärts, the French Service Civique etc). Support of operational agencies would come through any central support EVHAC would give to rosters and training provision, and funding for enhancing their agencies’ capacity to manage volunteers.

A.3.7. Counterparting and the crucial importance of strengthening local capacities. The 2006 review had already outlined the importance of skills transfer and support for local organizations and volunteers, which are “faster, cheaper, and more sustainable”. This approach was confirmed by many respondents to the present review. In Haiti, counterparting (teaming an international volunteer with a local for mutual benefit – as well as for the community) was mentioned as “the best of all worlds”.

To reflect the strongly-held views of its stakeholders ECHO, in establishing EVHAC, needs to consider the inclusion of support for in-country volunteering initiatives and the strengthening of local capacity through volunteering.

A.3.8. The possible contributions from the private and public sectors. There are several models of volunteering used by the private sector, identified by the review, which may be of interest for EVHAC, such as allowing volunteering by staff or funding others to volunteer. This may provide some highly experienced volunteers with specific skill-sets (e.g. logistics, management, healthcare) which are much needed to supply the surge capacity in the first hours or days of a disaster and thereafter. In this respect, the Irish Rapid Response initiative appears as a model.

The highest level (level 3) of the recommended model for involving volunteers under EVHAC would accommodate private and public sector contributions of high level experts.

A.3.9. Remote volunteering. There are some very interesting opportunities for humanitarian agencies to benefit from online volunteers, either in preparatory work (mentoring schemes) or in their operational and ordinary back-office functions (mapping, website management, fund raising, short translations in unusual languages etc), as they try to upscale in response to a disaster. Online volunteering and “crowdsourcing” would also provide opportunities for young people to contribute to a European response remotely. However, alternative forms of volunteering raised only modest interest among returned volunteers.

If EVHAC decides to support remote volunteering, it could seek cooperation with already established platforms such as UN Online Volunteers or existing crowdsourcing initiatives to speed up the setting-up process (probably under co-branding agreements).

A.3.10. Bearing all this in mind, how should EVHAC be implemented? In accordance with the above findings, a few benchmarks of potential relevance for EVHAC have been subjected to in-depth assessments. The analyses confirmed that, although relevant components could be found in all cases (large programmes of young volunteers abroad, the use of experienced returned volunteers), EVHAC would not benefit from the experience of a sufficiently compatible benchmark, and would therefore have to define its own original structure and mode of operation, preferably through a gradual “learning by doing” approach. The literature review has also analysed the limitations of the current DG ECHO Regulation, which is not adapted to the setting up of EVHAC and needs to be revised.

The EAC-EA Executive agency, which already supervises the volunteering actions of the DG EAC Youth In Action programme – some of which are sending large numbers of young European volunteers in third countries to implement humanitarian-related projects - appeared as the most relevant existing management structure for a rapid setting up of EVHAC, though even if this route is chosen a staged approach should be preferred.

A.4. Options and overall recommendations (Section B.3)

Considering the findings and lessons learned and particularly looking at the gaps and needs identified, the review would provide the following implementation recommendations: 

· To apply a gradual, “soft start” approach for the launch of EVHAC during the European Year of Volunteering 2011, leaving time for more consultation and studies, and to test-pilot options. The reasons include e.g. the necessary coherence with other contiguous processes, the need to set up coordination mechanisms with concerned actors etc (see B.3.1.1).

· To adopt a do-no-harm, cooperative approach, which would avoid disrupting already well-functioning volunteering schemes by creating confusion and competition, and ensure that demand takes precedence over supply. 

· To sub-divide EVHAC into three main levels, which all have their own specific value and impact. This would reflect the wide range of expertise found in volunteers and required by implementing agencies. It would offer adapted approaches, from the gradual induction of young unskilled volunteers to humanitarian-related projects and principles, to junior professionals, and finally to experienced volunteers (professionals) who can be used for surge capacity in disaster response (B.3.1.2).

· To outsource the management (e.g. to the EAC-EA Executive Agency), considering that DG ECHO’s clear intention is not to divert budgetary resources from current projects to EVHAC. An adapted governance body for EVHAC should be set up, which would include DG ECHO together with representatives of the Member States and the main partners, to ensure close coordination with the principles and activities of DG ECHO (B.3.1.3).

In this framework, three options have been presented for the implementation of EVHAC:

- a relatively limited grant scheme (B.3.3),

- a pro-active funding and supporting organisation (B.3.4),

- and a more ambitious programming and implementing agency (B.3.5).

The preferred option of the review (also confirmed by a majority of respondents) is the “medium” implementing option 2 as the most adequate in a situation where EVHAC has to insert itself into a complex framework of EU volunteer-sending organisations and volunteering schemes without disrupting what already exists and functions. EVHAC should on the contrary be in a position to add the value of a European dimension for necessary harmonization and promotion, and provide funds where relevant schemes may be in need – in a “win-win” trade off for EU visibility.

Option 2 would also leave the implementation of projects to the partners, who would continue using their own established procedures, (provided that these remain consistent with new proposed standards).

ANNEX 2

EC Reference N°: ECHO/ADM/BUD/2010/01213 Internal Project N°: GMX EC 16/2 - 2010 Team Members: Dipl.-Ing. Michael Kunze (TL) Mr Jonathan Potter Mr Michel Van Bruaene

           

Executive Summary

Background

The Lisbon Treaty foresees the establishment of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (Humanitarian Aid Corps), Art 214.5 TFEU. A Communication presenting the main principles and options has been adopted on the 23rd of November[33].

Some gaps and areas where the Humanitarian Aid Corps is likely to have an added value are identified. These include: (i) identification and selection of volunteers (aimed at having the right people at the right place at the right time); (ii) training, through the development of common standards, good practices and possibly modules; (iii) deployment, in order to benefit from volunteers in EU humanitarian aid operations.

In order to gather ideas and opinions for the establishment of the Humanitarian Aid Corps an Open Public Consultation was carried out between 8th February and 3rd May 2011. Responses were requested on a range of issues, which include:

· general opinion and expected impact of the Humanitarian Aid Corps;

· profiles of volunteers and “Levels of Volunteering”;

· types of activities for the Humanitarian Aid Corps volunteers;

· types of preparatory and support measures for volunteers;

· implementing options of the Humanitarian Aid Corps .

Methodology

To allow for wide participation and dialogue, a survey was formulated which requested feedback on the essential principles and opinions presented in the Communication of the Commission on the establishment of Humanitarian Aid Corps. Respondents were offered statements with which they could agree or disagree in a graded way (i.e. strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, disagree). This questionnaire was encoded in the web-based survey tool of the Commission (IPM – Interactive Policy Making) to facilitate the contribution process by interested individuals and organisations. The survey was made available in three languages (English, French and German) and followed the “General principles and minimum standards for consultation of interested parties by the Commission”[34]

With the objective to stimulate wide participation, the Commission published a press release and provided the link to the online Consultation at the DG ECHO web-site and the DG MARKT web-site “Your voice in Europe”. Furthermore, the major associations of volunteering organisations in the EU (CEV, AVSO and the Alliance of European Voluntary Organisations) and the VOICE[35] network of NGOs have been informed and around 200 different organisations in the EU and abroad were directly invited to contribute to the Consultation.

The Consultation was open to all interested individuals and organisations inside and outside the European Union.

The Open Public Consultation forms an essential contribution to the establishment of the Humanitarian Aid Corps, adding to the findings of earlier opinion polling exercises at the level of specialised humanitarian stakeholders[36], particularly at the level of DG ECHO FPA partners, Volunteer Sending Organisations and NGO networks and in addition returned volunteers which served abroad.

The results of the Consultation will be presented at a stakeholder conference in June 2011 in Budapest and a brief factual report will be published at the DG ECHO and DG MARKT web-sites.

Summary findings

The Open Public Consultation concerning the establishment of the Humanitarian Aid Corps generated 126 contributions in total, 92 from individual respondents and 34 from respondents representing an organisation. The responding population is not very homogeneous. The responding organisations, from 16 EU Member States and two third countries, vary in type, where the most frequent responses are from humanitarian and development cooperation NGOs, followed by civil society or community-based associations. The majority of responding individuals are persons with volunteering experience (74 out 92 respondents).

Despite the variations in the composition of respondents, the Consultation provides quite a clear message on most topics addressed. When looking at the main topics (general opinion, profiles of volunteers, type of activities and preparatory and support measures), a majority of respondents from both groups, individuals and organisations, agree with the proposed statements (often near to 80% of the respondents). Next to the very supportive overall evaluation, the respondents used the opportunity to provide “free text” responses to  express their concern about particular issues (e.g. advisability adequacy of involving young or inexperienced volunteers in humanitarian assistance, cost-efficiency of involving higher number of volunteers in humanitarian operations, security concerns, the impact of inexperienced volunteers on the sector’s professionalisation agenda, risk of duplication of structures, and several others). 

In general there is a tendency that organisations agree slightly more with the statements provided in the Consultation, compared with the feedback of individual respondents.

Topic 1 - General opinion and expected impact of the Humanitarian Aid Corps – An overwhelming proportion of the respondents agree or somewhat agree with the statements under this section[37], which were formulated in line with the concept of the Humanitarian Aid Corps and the anticipated impact[38]. Responding organisations are particularly convinced that the Humanitarian Aid Corps has the potential to be the right platform to promote structured training, common standards and good practices for involving volunteers (in cooperation with existing actors).

The free text comments under this section highlight the relevance of the Humanitarian Aid Corps to three key concerns:

1. the possibility to show solidarity with people in need;

2. the opportunity to practice active EU citizenship (mostly individual respondents);

3. the potential of the Humanitarian Aid Corps to increase coordination and coherence in EU humanitarian volunteering.

Some more critical voices question the added value of increased number of volunteers in humanitarian operations, and others highlight the importance of avoiding duplication of structures.

Topic 2 - Profiles of volunteers and “Level of Volunteering” – The Consultation addressed five issues[39] related to the profiles of volunteers to be deployed under the Humanitarian Aid Corps with respect to varying age groups and experience. The majority of the respondents agreed that the Humanitarian Aid Corps should enable different types of volunteers to get involved in humanitarian operations. This also includes the support of young or less experienced volunteers (school graduates / students) in situations where there are no security problems. A large proportion of the respondents are of the opinion that the Humanitarian Aid Corps should help young professionals to gather work experience and to develop career opportunities in the humanitarian sector (87% of the individuals / 84% of the organisations). Specifically, the responding organisations would like to see the involvement of experienced volunteers from the private sector in situations of need for highly specialised experts.

When looking at the question if the Humanitarian Aid Corps should focus primarily on experienced volunteers, on condition that they do not replace staff positions, individual respondents and organisations had divergent views. Around 62 % of the responding organisations agree with this statement, whereas only 36% of the individual respondents do so. It appears that – also confirmed by the free text comments – the organisations tend to see young or inexperienced volunteers serving in support positions in the EU but not so much at field level, where they clearly vote for experienced volunteers and professionals when involving volunteers in humanitarian field work.

We note a consensus amongst the respondents when looking at the free text comments to this section. All respondents require a professional managed deployment environment for the Humanitarian Aid Corps volunteers and demand that the Humanitarian Aid Corps should not have any negative impact on the professionalisation of the humanitarian sector. Core issues addressed were:

o professional recruitment and selection of candidates;

o matching between the tasks and the skills and capacities of the volunteers;

o adequate training and mission preparation for the volunteers;

o security issues should be a priority when deploying volunteers.

Some critical voices questioned the usefulness of involving young or inexperienced people in humanitarian operations and suggested that their contribution should be limited to supporting humanitarian actors in the EU or in their home countries.

Topic 3 - Type of activities for the Humanitarian Aid Corps volunteers – There are large numbers of possible types of activities for volunteers. This section of the consultation asked for the opinion of the respondents concerning 6 concrete types of activities in which particularly young and inexperienced volunteers could be involved. The organisations evaluated the suggested activities quite positively – a clear majority agreed with the suggested concepts / types of activities. Individual respondents were proportionally less in agreement with the suggested concepts – this is certainly caused by personal preferences of the individual respondents whereas the organisations tend to judge more on the basis of value-adding in the framework of their operational requirements.

Amongst all others, local capacity building in third countries (particularly disaster preparedness, post-crisis recovery and civil society strengthening) and twinning or exchange programmes received the highest degree of agreement from both organisations and individual respondents. The organisations furthermore strongly favoured “EU back-office support” and “online-volunteering” as being adequate types of activities for less experienced volunteers.

The free text responses to this section highlighted a number of concerns, which mainly focussed on the fact that humanitarian operations in general and particularly emergency relief operations need to be staffed with experienced professionals and are not suitable for younger or less experienced volunteers. Furthermore, there is again a consensus that any deployment of volunteers needs proper training, mission preparation and supporting measures and care services.

Topic 4 - Types of preparatory and support measures for volunteers – By their nature, the humanitarian actions of the European Union often take place in difficult situations (security, health risks, accessibility, etc.). The Consultation suggested a number of preparatory and support measures[40] for volunteers and asked the respondents about the importance of these measures.

The majority of the respondents evaluated all nine suggested measures as indispensable or very important. “security training” and “mission preparation” ranked highest for both respondent groups, individuals and organisations. “Logistical support” (travel, visa, etc.) ranked lowest amongst all suggested measures. For some measures there is a surprisingly high deviation in the appreciation between individuals and organisations, especially “introduction to humanitarian principles” and “technical training”, where for example the organisations give more importance to technical training than the responding individuals.

Next to the suggested measures, the respondents recommended a number of additional preparatory and support measures, which are listed below:

· health and stress management support;

· medical examination to prove that candidates are fit for their assignments;

· intercultural relations training and comprehensive information provision on the historical context ;

· psycho social care services after return and counselling if needed;

· introduction to general development issues, next to the “introduction to humanitarian principles”.

Several respondents suggested that the support measures should be tailored to the different possible groups of volunteers to be deployed under the Humanitarian Aid Corps.

Topic 5 - Implementation options for the Humanitarian Aid Corps – There are several different possibilities for the implementation and the institutional establishment of the Humanitarian Aid Corps. The Communication highlights three basic options for the implementation and at the same time advocates for a strong cooperative approach for the Humanitarian Aid Corps – meaning to build on existing structures and volunteering schemes, rather than duplicating them. In the Consultation, respondents were asked to vote for the most adequate option among the three.

The respondents clearly favoured Option 2 and Option 3, Option 1 received the least votes. Organisations and individual respondents replied in a proportionally quite similar way.

The free text responses revealed that there is a consensus amongst the respondents that the Humanitarian Aid Corps should not duplicate existing structures and that, where possible, existing actors should be used for the actual deployment of volunteers (remark: which clearly is in line with the Communication on the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps).

Many respondents call for close coordination between the Humanitarian Aid Corps and the existing humanitarian actors. Some voices call for intense involvement of local structures in the affected counties (e.g. local NGOs) and several respondents suggest using existing structures at EC level to implement the Humanitarian Aid Corps (e.g. EVS).

Conclusion

The findings of this Consultation align closely with the Communication of the Commission on the establishment of the Humanitarian Aid Corps[41], which has formed the basis for the Consultation in terms of structure, content and priority issues addressed.

Next to the very supportive statements and the generally strong agreement received from the respondents in the closed questions sections of the Consultation, also the expressed opinions of the respondents in the free text areas of the Consultation coincide with the main conditions for the Humanitarian Aid Corps to bring a positive contribution to humanitarian aid operations which are defined in the Communication of the Commission and are listed hereunder:

Ø avoid duplication and support/complement existing voluntary organisations

Ø take into account the increased professionalization of the humanitarian sector, including the need for volunteers deployed through the Humanitarian Aid Corps to provide real added value

Ø security: young and un-experienced volunteers will be dealing with pre and post crisis activities rather than emergency response ones (Disaster Risk Reduction and activities in transition contexts)

Ø support to the development of local capacities, including exchange and pairing programmes

Ø allocation of additional funds, in order to avoid diverting operational humanitarian aid budget

The results of the Consultation are encouraging and should make the European Commission confident in taking the Humanitarian Aid Corps to the next stage. 

ANNEX 3

Pilot projects 2011-2012

Summary table

|| Save the Children, UK || VSO International || French Red Cross

Partners || NOHA, In­stitut Bi­o­­force Development (Fran­ce), Red Barnet Denmark, Die Johanitter || VSO (Netherland), Pro Vo­bis  (National Resource Cen­tre for Volunteering, Romania) || Austrian, Bulgarian and Ger­man Red Cross

Aim || Building humanitarian talent, professionalization of fu­ture humanitarian aid pro­fes­sionals including a compre­hen­sive learning and deve­lop­ment programme for the vo­lunteers || Building capacity of local or­gani­sations through deve­lopment of volunteer mana­gement tra­i­ning and accredita­tion for partner organisati­ons. Volunteers follow Personal Develop. Plan process and get university ac­cre­ditation || Follows the Red Cross approach to promote young people as ac­tors of change. Volunteers are treated as Red Cross staff usually deployed.

Focus of deployment || Preparedness and recovery ac­­tivities || Preparedness and recovery ac­tivities || Pre- or post- disaster humanit­a­rian aid

No of volunteers || 25 || 40 || 21

Selection || 66% with limited overseas experience, and 34% having com­pleted either NO­HA Ma­sters or Bioforce training. Candidates from at least 7 Mem­ber States || Volunteer experts. Developed "Best Practise Stan­dards" and assessments tools for selection and ma­nagement. || 24-34 years old, relevant studies or professional experience, ambition to work in the humani­tarian sec­tor. Final selection based on identi­fi­ed demands.

Training || 12-month training program­me: as either Gene­ralist Project Officers (15) or Spe­cia­lized Logistics Of­ficers (15). The curriculum is a blend of modules deve­loped by part­ners. Personal Develop Plan and a coach for each volunteer. The coach is an aid profes­si­onal working with the host a­gency, is trained and receives sup­port from lo­cal organisations. || Two training sessions developed for Eu­ro­pe­an and hosting or­ganisations ba­sed on a volunteer mana­ge­ment process. Pre-deployment: 2-3 on­line trai­ning sessions + 5 days face-to-fa­ce training. On arrival: 1 week country trai­ning. During deployment: mo­ni­toring by an ex-vo­lun­teer Special web-site available in 5 lan­guages also used for online learning tools. || Specific training ba­sed on IM­PACT (developed by IFRC) and modules on humanitarian aid, law and EU aid operations. Two times 5 days' course in Red Cross training centre. Basic training followed up by spe­cialized training modules + visits to institutions (Geneva, Brussels). Development of career track. Mentors, key local advisors and a stress management person identified.

Deployment || Level 1 volunteer deploy­ed 2 times of 4-5 months and Level 2 volunteer 1 time of 9-10 months || Varies -contexts, duration and matching decisions made in collaboration with local organisa­tions. || Six months.

Factsheets

ANNEX 4

Examples of existing training

Name || Organisation || Focus || Training || Selection criteria

NOHA [42] || International as­so­ciation compo­sed of 9 Euro­pean Universities || Enhancement of pro­fes­sionalism by pro­viding cer­tificated high level cour­ses; promoting research and policy pa­pers || The NOHA Master's Programme is made of 3 semesters (90 ECTS credits). Structured around 4 main components co­ve­ring Geopolitics, Anthropology, Internati­o­nal Law, Management, Medicine and Public Health in Humanitarian Action. Possible to sign up for specific courses. || Bachelor degree in study di­scipline, relevant field expe­rience, multicultural sensitivity, and their linguistic abilities

ELRHA [43] || Collaborative network || Partnership between hi­g­her education institut. and humanitarian organisations || Facilitating access to different university courses, Research Centres and professional training courses regarding more specific topics ||

MS Global Contact || NGO Non-Govern­mental Orga­ni­sation || Development assistance || Preparatory course of 5 days, including ex­periences of other volunteers, prac­ticalities and details about the stay. 4 weeks stay and training at Global Platform on cultural issues, development and general build up of soft skills followed by actual deployment of up to 12 months. 3 days return event || All above 18 years are eligible. Must go through training.

Bioforce || Non-profit organisation || Maximizing the impact of aid programmes and in­creasing effectiveness of mission in the public health sector || 6 professional programmes including 4 certified courses, a bachelor degree course and a European M.Sc. (Human Programme Manager) in partnership with University of Liverpool. More than 50 refreshment courses. Runs training centres in West Africa. || Selection based on relevance of training to applicants' profession

Weltwärts || Public voluntary service || More towards development assistance || A support programme + language courses must total at least 25 days of compulsory seminar. Priority fields of learning are: intercultural communication and cooperation, development policy, knowledge of the country, project management and language skills || People between 18 and 29 graduated from secondary school or achieved higher education level

Save the Children, UK[44] (pilot project) || NGO || Prevention, preparedness and recovery activities || 12-month training program­me ba­sed on "Con­sortium of British Humanitarian Agencies". Trai­ned as either a Gene­ralist Project Officers or Specialized Logistics Of­ficers. Training organised in 4-weeks pre deployment scenario training and 3 weeks field training during deployment. In addition, distance learning modules are available. || 66% volunteers with limited overseas experience (level 1) and 34%, who has completed either NO­HA Masters or Bioforce accredited training (level 2).

French Red Cross (pilot project) || National Society - Red Cross Family || Prevention, preparedness and recovery activities || Training modules on humanitarian aid, international humanitarian law, EU humanitarian aid operations, also depend on university/professional background of volunteers and future deployment. 2 times 5 days residential course in the Red Cross training centre+ E-learning modules + Visits of Geneva and Brussels (ECHO office) || Young qualified and inexperienced volunteers, relevant studies or professional experience, ambition to work in humanitarian sector

VSO (pilot project) || VSO International, VSO Netherlands, ProVobis Romania || Preparedness and recovery activities || Two training sessions developed for European and hosting organisations based on a 9-steps volunteer management process. Pre-deployment: 2-3 online training sessions in working overseas and “Personal Development Passport” + 5 days face to face training On arrival: 1 week in country training. During deployment: monitoring by ex-volunteers Special web-site available in 5 languages also used for online learning tools || “Volunteers experts” chosen according to “Best Practice Standards” and assessment tools for selection and management

ANNEX 5

List of stakeholders consulted

1 || Action Contre la Faim

2 || ADICE - l’Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Citoyennes et Européennes

3 || ADRA - Adventist Development and Relief Agency

4 || AEGEE-PECS - European Students Association

5 || African-Hungarian Union

6 || Alliance Française de Szeged

7 || Alternative for India Development

8 || ANPAS - ASSOCIAZIONE NAZIONALE PUBBLICHE ASSISTENZE

9 || Arche noVa e.V

10 || Artemisszio Foundation

11 || Asamblea de Cooperación Por la Paz

12 || ASB - Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland

13 || Associação Cultural e Juvenil BY Portugal

14 || AVSO - Association of voluntary Service Organisations

15 || Babuka Nonprofit kft

16 || Belgian Ministry for Development Cooperation

17 || Belgian Ministry of Home Affairs

18 || BOCS Foundation

19 || CARITAS Europa

20 || CARITAS Hungary

21 || CARITAS Luxemburg

22 || CEV - European Volunteer Centre

23 || CLONG-Volontariat - Comité de Liaison des ONGs de Volontariat

24 || COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale

25 || Cordaid

26 || Corvinus University of Budapest

27 || COSV - Comitato per il Coordinamento delle Organizzazione di Volontariato

28 || CSD - Centre for Safety and Development

29 || Danish Refugee Council

30 || DEKOM

31 || DHL

32 || DKKV - German Committee for Disaster Reduction

33 || DRK - German Red Cross

34 || Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

35 || EU Affairs, New Europe

36 || EU-CORD - Network of Christian Organisations in Relief and Development

37 || Finish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

38 || Foundation for Africa Hungary

39 || France Volontaires

40 || French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

41 || Fundação AMI

42 || GCVC - Global Corporate Volunteer Council

43 || German Committe for Disaster Reduction (DKKV)

44 || German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW)

45 || German Federal Foreign Office

46 || German Federal Ministry of the Interior

47 || German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance

48 || Germax Gerli GmbH

49 || GIZ Germany Federal Organisation for International Cooperation

50 || Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs

51 || GVC - Gruppo Volontariato Civile

52 || HAP - Humanitarian Accountability Partnership

53 || HelpAge International

54 || Hungarian Baptist Aid

55 || Hungarian Interchurch Aid

56 || Hungarian Maltese Charity Service

57 || Hungarian Ministry of Defence

58 || Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

59 || Hungarian Red Cross

60 || Hungarian Volunteer Sending Foundation

61 || Icelandic Mission to the EU

62 || ICEY International Cultural Youth Exchange

63 || ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross

64 || IFRC International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

65 || Institut Bioforce Développement

66 || Institut d'Etudes Humanitaires Internationales Université Paul Cezanne

67 || Institut en Sciences du Risque

68 || International Art of Living Foundation

69 || International Medical Corps UK

70 || INTERSOS - Humanitarian Organisation

71 || IOM - International Organisation of Migration

72 || Irish Aid - Department of Foreign Affairs

73 || Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

74 || Italian Prime Minister Office - Civil Protection

75 || Johanniter International

76 || Johanniter-Unfall Hilfe e.V. (German branch)

77 || John Wesley College

78 || KIM

79 || KPMG

80 || LINK2007 - Cooperazione in rete

81 || Lithuanian Delegation to NATO

82 || Magyar Maltai Meretetszolgalat

83 || Mahatma Gandhi

84 || Malteser International

85 || MapAction

86 || Masaryk University

87 || Medici con l’Africa Cuamm

88 || MEMISA Belgian Non-profit Organisation

89 || Mission East

90 || MSF Medecins sans Frontières

91 || Muslim Aid UK

92 || National Directorate General for Disaster Management

93 || NOHA - Network On Humanitarian Assistance

94 || North Lanarkshire Arts Association

95 || Norwegian Refugee Council

96 || OCHA - Liaison Office to EC

97 || OIKOS Association

98 || OXFAM

99 || Oxfam Solidarité

100 || People in Aid

101 || Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU

102 || Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the EU

103 || Permanent Representation of France to the EU

104 || Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU

105 || Permanent Representation of Greece to the EU

106 || Permanent Representation of Hungary to the EU

107 || Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU

108 || Permanent Representation of Portugal to the EU

109 || Permanent Representation of Romania to the EU

110 || Permanent Representation of Slovenia to the EU

111 || Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU

112 || Permanent Representation of UK to the EU

113 || Polish Ministy of Foreign Affairs

114 || Pro Vobis National Resource Center for Volunteering

115 || Profilantrop Association

116 || Prolog Consult

117 || PSO Capacity Building in Developing Countries (Holland)

118 || Red Cross Austria

119 || Red Cross Belgium

120 || Red Cross Bulgaria

121 || Red Cross EU Office

122 || Red Cross Finland

123 || Red Cross France

124 || Red Cross Germany

125 || Red Cross Italy

126 || Red Cross Netherlands

127 || Red Cross Sweden

128 || RedR UK

129 || Relief International

130 || Rucinski Consultancy

131 || Samariter International

132 || Save the Children Denmark

133 || Save the Children UK

134 || Service Civique Volontaire

135 || Service Volontaire International, asbl

136 || SOLIDAR

137 || Solidaridad International

138 || Taita Foundation for African Children

139 || Terre des Hommes International Federation

140 || The Main School of Fire Service in Warsaw

141 || THW - German Civil Protection

142 || UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

143 || UNHABITAT

144 || UNHCR - Bureau of Europe

145 || UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

146 || Universidad de Deuso

147 || UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services

148 || UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency

149 || UNV United Nations Volunteers

150 || UN-WFP - World Food Programme

151 || VOICE - Voluntary Organisations in Cooperation in Emergencies

152 || Voluntary Service Overseas VSO UK

153 || VSO International

154 || VSO Netherlands

155 || Weltwarts - BMZ development volunteer service

156 || World Scout Bureau

157 || World Vision European Union Liaison Office

158 || ZOA Refugee Care

[1] How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, COMM(2010)683

[2] http://forum-ids.org/lang/en/research/member-papers/international-development-humanitarian-agencies/review-concerning-the-establishment-of-a-european-voluntary-humanitarian-aid-corps-study.html

[3] “Review Concerning the Establishment of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps”, GERMAX, 2010. The consultants looked at the United Nations Volunteer programme (UNV) and other relevant UN Agencies, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO/UK), and NGOs among others.

[4] In December 2011, the Commission also organised a seminars with the project coordinators to discuss lessons learnt from the first phase.

[5] For the purpose of this Impact Assessment, we apply a broad definition of volunteering, though we assume that volunteering is not primarily for financial benefit, and that there is a clear beneficiary beyond the volunteers.

[6] Volunteering in the European Union – GHK, February 2010

[7] 6,300 volunteers were deployed in the EU and neighbouring countries.

[8]  These figures are well above the average support that citizens normally express for EU policies in general.

[9]  In particular Germax Review (2010) and GHK study (2010). See above.

[10] A comprehensive overview of the situation of volunteering in Member States is provided in the GHK study on "Volunteering in the European Union". The study, as well as recent Eurobarometers, shows that the level of volunteering is high in Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria, and the UK, while others countries such as Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain are identified as having low or relatively low levels of participation in volunteering.

[11] Many volunteers' organisations apply some identification and selection criteria -either their own standards or they adhere to standards developed by collaborative organisations such as the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP, http://www.hapinternational.org) and People In Aid (http://www.peopleinaid.org)

[12] Examples of rosters include the UNV (for deployment mainly through UN Agencies, 25,000 active candidates on the roster), UN/OCHA (high level “experts on mission”, usually not volunteers), Weltwärts, the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), the Danish Refugee Council, the Irish Aid Rapid.

[13] In 2010 the Commission alone disbursed over € 1,1 billion in humanitarian funding which have benefited directly and indirectly 140 million people.

[14] Reference to "humanitarian" activities throughout this document also covers civil protection activities of a humanitarian character, without this being explicitly mentioned in every instance

[15] In particular, Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP: http://www.hapinternational.org) and People in Aid (http://www.peopleinaid.org) have developed similar standards

[16] The experience by both the HAP and the People In Aid seems to be that such high costs have deferred many, in particular small organisations, from becoming certified. At the same time, it needs to be stressed that the existing mechanisms are not limited only to volunteers

[17] This would be similar to training organised by the Commission as part of the Civil Protection policy, which has been running in disaster preparedness for 7 years. The CP training consists of generic and specific elements (called ‘modules’). The courses are awarded through tender procedures and each contract has a maximum duration of 4 years. For further information consult the “Evaluation of the EC’s Action in the field of Civil Protection”, COWI, 2010.

[18]  Some expert volunteers may choose for a long term deployment as part of a 'sabbatical leave' programme. But the Corps will equally allow those being in employment and eager to engage in humanitarian operations as part of surge in times of acute crises or for capacity building projects. Costs for these volunteers are expected to be higher than for long term volunteers.

[19] Some humanitarian volunteer deployment happens through third country ‘branches’ or affiliates of international humanitarian organisations (e.g. Red Cross), in other cases the organisation in the EU that is recruiting volunteers delivers the projects in partnership with independent local organisations.

[20] For the calculation of Commission staff the official figures from DG HR on average salaries in Commission have been used, while the calculation of management costs for an Agency is based upon the global ratio of current administrative costs against the current operational budget of the Executive Agency in charge of Education and Culture.

[21] The Register would supplement and not duplicate the existing rosters that typically target rapid response needs.

[22] Based on the costs of the three pilot projects, the estimated average cost per volunteer is reduced by 35% in order to allow for an efficiency gain as the pilot projects bear some additional costs due to their explorative and investigative nature.

[23] We have added to that estimate EUR 500 in order to allow for some on-site support and training.

[24] The human resources needed to manage the training activities are assumed to be of about the same size as for the Civil Protection, namely 16 person/months per year.

[25] The following Rosters have been taken as benchmarks for the calculation of costs: Danish Refugee Council, Irish Response Corps, Department for International Development (DIFID, UK), Norwegian Refugee Council

[26] www.sphereproject.org

[27] Based on DG ECHO experience as well as relevant programmes managed by the Executive Agencies, we estimate that 5 more persons would be needed for the direct management of deployment.

[28] Some variations might occur for the training of EU volunteers due to the need of higher number of staff on the Commission (Agency) side, which would imply higher comparative costs with respect to service providers.

[29] Linking Relief Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD): A communication from the European Commission to the European Council and European Parliament on LRRD policy can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/COM_LRRD_en.pdf

[30] OCHA operates the Emergency Response Roster for surge capacity, the GenCap (Gender Capability) and ProCap (Protection Capability) rosters, for the benefit of UN agencies. High level “experts on mission” are provided exclusively through a “Stand-By Partnership Programme” of 12 partner organizations, which have their own rosters.

[31] Council of the European Union Resolution, 27th November 2009: http://ec.europa.eu/youth/pdf/doc1648_en.pdf

[32] EURES Job Portal: http://ec.europa.eu/eures/

[33] Communication of the Commission - COM(2010)683 final

[34] Communication from the Commission, “Towards a reinforced culture of consultation and dialogue – General principles and minimum standards for consultation of interested parties by the Commission”, COM(2002)704 final, Brussels, 11.12.2002

[35] VOICE stands for Voluntary Organisations in Cooperation in Emergencies (a network currently representing 83 European non governmental organisations active in humanitarian aid worldwide)

[36] Surveys for DG ECHO FPA partners and returned volunteers in the context of the preparatory study “Humanitarian Aid Corps review 2010”. This review is available at http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/policies/evaluation/2010/EVHAC_Final_Report.pdf

[37] Expected impact (9 statements of the Consultation – for complete statements see Annex I): positive contribution to the humanitarian and civil protection sectors; promotes active EU citizenship; shows solidarity with people in need, helps people in need; creates positive links with people in need; contributes to increase coordination and coherence in the sector; promotes professionalism and safety for volunteers; helps with harmonising existing approaches; right platform to promote standards and good practices.

[38] As defined in the Communication of the Commission on the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, COM(2010)683 final

[39] Profiles of volunteers (5 issues addressed in the Consultation – for complete statements see Annex I): The Humanitarian Aid Corps should involve of different types of volunteers; should involve of young / less experienced volunteers; should help young volunteers to gather work experience; should enable the involvement of volunteers from the private sector; should concentrate on the involvement of experienced volunteers.

[40] Suggested preparatory and support measures (9 measures suggested in the Consultation): introduction to humanitarian principles; security training; technical training; introduction to local culture in matters of concern and languages; logistic support like travel, visas, etc.; insurance coverage; in-depth mission preparation; continuous local coaching and mentoring / supervision; care services after return of volunteers.

[41] Communication of the Commission  - COM(2010)683 final

[42] Network on Humanitarian Assistance - http://www.nohanet.org/

[43] Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance - http://www.elrha.org/.

[44] European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, Pilot Projects Call for proposals 2011, Save the Children, UK

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