About the technical team

Big changes are afoot in the volunteering world.

In order for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to remain the largest humanitarian organisation in the world, and have a presence in every community, we need increase and maintain our volunteer reach.

And we need to get with the times.

We know how people want to volunteer is changing. People want flexible volunteering opportunities, sometimes short–term and easy to access remotely. People’s increasing digital access is also changing the way in which we can reach new communities of volunteers and engage with people who may not have engaged with us before.

Technology makes the world a smaller place, allowing us to connect with people and communities across the globe. We want to explore how digital technologies can allow people to make a difference locally and globally by volunteering their time and skills.

  • What does the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement need to do to enable all people to have the gift of volunteering at their fingertips and be ready to spring into action as soon as the moment takes them?
  • How can technology be used to provide a platform for achieving our goals of attracting, engaging and retaining new and existing supporters of the Movement?
  • And how can we use digital to share great volunteering initiatives and innovative approaches already happening, that might be able to be replicated elsewhere in the world?

We know that new forms of volunteering don’t only mean harnessing digital solutions but within the confines of this technical team, this is where we will focus our efforts. Offering ways to engage with volunteering online gives new and existing volunteers a way to interact with the Movement in a light-touch way that can be a gateway or entrance to longer-term engagement, maybe with their local national society. This may be through more formal volunteering or even donations.

Additionally, having a space for professional volunteers to share their skills with RCRC national societies not only engages new people but also gives valuable skills to the Movement and helps with pieces of work and gives external perspectives on business challenges.

So what’s the plan?

INNOVATE – Create an online space where national societies can share great projects that have a new or inspiring approach to volunteering. This space will allow for collaboration and sharing in order to drive ideas forward.

CONNECT – Building on the Australian model of facilitating cross-border online volunteering opportunities in Asia Pacific, create a global platform of online and digital volunteering opportunities that anyone, including businesses and professionals, can get involved in. We want this to also be somewhere we people can help out in an emergency, wherever they are in the world.

SHARE – Allow volunteers and volunteering professionals to have a social networking space where they can share challenges, ideas and best practice around volunteering.

If you’re interested in hearing more or are a Red Cross or Red Crescent national society who wants to join the technical team, contact the technical team lead: 

Dr Solomon Ali, Head of Humanitarian Diplomacy, Governance and Membership Affairs Department, Ethiopian Red Cross on solomon.ali@redcrosseth.org

Members of the Techincal Team:

Vanessa Brown, Australian Red Cross

Amy Loader, British Red Cross

Kone Fansu Vatogoma, Côte d’Ivoire Red Cross

Bereket Haileslassie, Ethiopian Red Cross

Azamat Baialinov, Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent

Olga Rubio Calzas, Spanish Red Cross

What do we know so far?

We had responses from 32 countries about exciting volunteering programmes in their Red Cross or Red Crescent national society.

There’s loads of exciting things out there already:

  • Australia – Online International Volunteering Programme, connecting up 14 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies within the Movement to interact and provide opportunities for individuals, businesses and universities.
  • Ethiopia – Community/neighbourhood based volunteerism called the Self Development Programme. This is a platform enabling small communities or areas to come together and offer each other help.
  • France – “Redtouch” platform. Short term project volunteer platform with financial and technical support for volunteers implementing an initially non-Red Cross project.
  • Mexico – Using Biker sub-culture to promote road safety.
  • Netherlands – Ready2Help – an online, ad hoc volunteering platform. It registers 100.000+ volunteers that are mobilised through their mobile phones with one press on a button in times of crisis (floods, terrorism attacks, migration crisis in Europe).
  • Norway – Codeathons with the private sector to solve digital problems.
  • Thailand – tapping into the voluntourism market.

All over the world, Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers have access to the internet allowing them to get involved online!

And there are loads of ideas out there already for how technology could be used to both create volunteering opportunities, as well as enhance the experience

National Society projects

Discover exciting projects sister National Societies have developed.