The value of volunteers, volunteering and volunteerism (3Vs) project

Safer and more resilient communities in Victoria rely heavily on 100,000 emergency management volunteers who provide community based service delivery, and the people who lead, facilitate and enable community connection, coordination and capability. 

With this in mind, it might be surprising that there are currently no comprehensive tools, methods or models to calculate, fully understand nor effectively communicate the value of emergency management sector. There is also no way to capture the value a volunteer receives as part of the value chain, nor how to quantify the importance of a culture that supports volunteerism.

Emergency Management Victoria in collaboration with a Volunteer Consultative Forum (VCF) Reference Group are working on a project to design and develop a model and products that will capture, quantify, validate and communicate the social, physical, economic, human, environmental and cultural value of Victoria’s emergency management volunteers.

This work demonstrates a strategic and innovative way to better understand the value of the 3Vs to Victorian communities. It sensitively questions the way value is seen today and offers solutions to better understand it in the future. Importantly, it acknowledges the limitations of the current understanding of value and provides leadership and direction to improve the understanding of the value created for a range of recipients and the broader community.

The recently completed Interim Report is an important first step within the overall project that seeks to better capture, quantify, validate and communicate the value of emergency management volunteers, volunteering and volunteerism to the community, agencies, business and government.

As we progress toward our shared goal of a sustainable emergency management system, the Interim Report provides a fit for purpose framework to better understand the full breadth and depth of value created and delivered by the 3Vs. Importantly, it enables government, agencies, community and business a new line of sight to uncover value that previously has been hiding, in plain sight. In time, a future model and products will assist in capturing value created, and relating that to value realisation within communities, agencies business and government.

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