Sioban O’Brien Green talks about the recent inaugural meeting of Comhlámh’s new Policy Expert Advisory Group
Part of the work plan of the Comhlámh Research and Policy Officer in 2014 is to establish Comhlámh Research and Policy working group. The aims of the group are to support and inform Comhlámh’s research and policy work in additional to sharing knowledge, experience and expertise. The Group will also help to identify future potential areas of research of interest and relevance to stakeholders within the sector (including volunteers, volunteer sending agencies, host organisations and communities and policy makers).
The first meeting of the Research and Policy Expert Advisory Group took place on Friday 9th May in the Comhlámh Offices. Representatives from; Kimmage Development Studies Centre, University of Limerick, VSO Ireland, Dublin City University and staff in Comhlámh attended the meeting. Comhlámh is particularly delighted to have Helene Perold of Helene Perold & Associates, South Africa, formerly a founder of VOSESA, participating in the Research and Policy Expert Advisory Group.
At the meeting Dervla King briefed the Group on the EUAV (European Union Aid Volunteers) research project instigated and funded by the European Commission’s European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO). The research consortium consisted of The Bioforce Institute, People In Aid, France Volontaires and Comhlámh and other agencies were sub-contracted to research specific areas. Comhlámh’s research focussed initially on alumni networks for returned volunteers however, the research focus extended to encompass all networks related to volunteering. Two expert seminars took place in Brussels also to inform the overall research and Comhlámh participated in both seminars.
Other research work areas discussed included an update on the Comhlámh annual volunteer sending agency survey progress and initial top line findings, the Comhlámh archive and library work to date and scoping on a planned discussion paper on Diaspora volunteering. The Group will meet at least three times a year with regular updates and communication between meetings. For more information please contact Siobán O’Brien Green, Research and Policy Officer in Comhlámh.