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close this bookVolunteer Participation in Working with the Urban Poor (UNDP - UNV, 64 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentNote on terminology and abbreviations
View the documentSummary
close this folderI. Urbanisation: recognition and response
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentUrbanisation and poverty
View the documentResponse to urbanisation
View the documentRecognition of ''Self-help'' initiatives
close this folderII. Insights derived from community-based programmes
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderUrban informal sector
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMicro-enterprise promotion
View the documentWorking conditions in the informal sector
View the documentThe ILO experience
View the documentLow-income housing
View the documentInfrastructure and basic services
View the documentHealth and HIV/AIDS prevention
View the documentNon-formal education and functional literacy
View the documentWomen, gender and development
View the documentChildren of the street
View the documentImplications for VSAs
close this folderIII. Towards a community-based strategy for VSAs
View the documentParticipation: how and for whose benefit?
View the documentA sense of ''community''
View the documentGeneral characteristics of low-income urban communities
View the documentFactors determining support possibilities
View the documentGeneral characteristics of CBOs
View the documentSupport channels and intermediaries
close this folderIV. Programming concerns for VSAs and UNV
View the documentGuidelines for involvement
View the documentSuccess criteria for volunteer involvement
View the documentTaking the initiative
View the documentFlexibility
View the documentMeeting personnel and associated needs
View the documentChannels of operation
View the documentUnited Nations Agencies and their partners
View the documentFunding and other programme concerns
close this folderV. Principles and characteristics of volunteer use
View the documentFunctions and volunteers
View the documentQualities of VDWs
View the documentTeams
View the documentSkill requirements and experiences
View the documentSelection and placement process
View the documentAcculturation and language training process
View the documentEpilogue: follow-up, 1995
View the documentAnnotated reference list
close this folderAnnex: Excerpts from background papers
View the documentUrban development policy issues and the role of united nations volunteers
View the documentWorking with the urban poor: lessons from the experience of metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria
View the documentBrief account of my experience as a DDS field worker and a UNV in Sri Lanka and Jamaica
View the documentSpecial consultation on volunteer participation in working with the urban poor

Qualities of VDWs

As repeated and emphasised often throughout this text, the urban situation in developing countries varies widely, and the qualities required of VDWs to work in programmes differ accordingly. It is difficult, therefore, to produce a general profile of VDWs to work in the urban context. Further, the type of intervention required will dictate different qualities needed in project teams -such as the level at which the VDW works (community, municipal or state level, or with an NGO). Nevertheless, we can outline several characteristics of VDWs which are key to ensuring that their assistance is appropriate:

- Human Qualities: Pre-disposition to volunteer commitment, with a positive outlook: the ability to listen; open-mindedness and flexibility; and a willingness to share problems and work in urban areas regardless of obstacles. These qualities may in many cases be more important than academic qualifications. Knowledge of the local language, and rural and urban sociology are also essential.

- Organisational Skills: Capacity to play the role of an animator; knowledge of how to strengthen the administrative and managerial capacity of CBOs and NGOs; and the ability to mobilise resources.

- Specialised and Technical Skills: Capacity to communicate at various levels (i.e. community, AGO, national and international); technical skills of relevance to low-income urban communities such as housing, infrastructure, health, education, etc.

Depending on the intervention envisaged and the national capacity available, it is likely that a range of volunteer types will be used in support schemes. This could include international, regional, national, and community volunteers.

In order to meet the very high level of challenges represented by conditions in low-income urban communities, and to cope with the many different specialisations of relevance, it may be desirable to adopt a team approach, whereby several VDWs working together could pool their respective skills in order to achieve the set objectives.