Action plan for the development of volunteering in Russia
A Ministry of Economic Development report on an “Action plan for the development of the volunteer movement in the Russian Federation” covers the first half of 2018.
During implementation of the action plan which was approved last year, the terms “volunteering” and “volunteerism” are to be given equal weight at federal level, as well as simplifying working arrangements between authorities and volunteer organisations, according to the report published on the Ministry’s website.
The law on “Amending Separate Russian Federation legislation on Volunteerism (Volunteering)” was signed off by Vladimir Putin in February and entered into force on 1 May. This document provides the legal framework for regulating work in the volunteer sector. The law in particular defines the powers of officials relating to the support and development of volunteer organisations.
Legislation was also approved in April which allows volunteers to be reimbursed for expenses related to food, special clothing, equipment and insurance premium payments incurred as part of civil law contracts agreed with charity recipients. In addition, the Agency of Strategic Initiatives has developed and sent recommendations to the regions (on volunteer support standards) in order to promote volunteerism based on best practice analysis.
The action plan also provides for the drawing up of proposals to develop environmental volunteering. A synthesis and analysis of best practice is being undertaken by the Information and Analysis Nature Reserve Support Centre, an organisation which has identified the most proactive regions whose experience can be replicated in work on Specially Protected Natural Areas.
The Ministry has also received data on the growth of corporate volunteering from 23 Russian regions which it will shortly use to determine the most successful projects to be presented as examples of best practice. Information on how these projects are to be implemented will be sent to the regions and published on the Ministry’s official website.
Last November, Vladimir Putin signed a decree establishing 5 December as “Volunteer Day”. The Russian President’s actions are in line with a UN General Assembly Resolution designating 5 December as International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development. 2018 has also been declared the Year of Civil Engagement and Volunteering in Russia.
An inter-regional forum on the “Development of Regional Social Volunteering” was held in Moscow in June for NGO leaders and experts on the development of social and medical volunteering. Here, the most outstanding representatives of volunteerism in Russia were able to share their experience in creating and supporting such work in NGOs.