Skip to main content

Influencing and advocacy


VSO Ireland influences policy at national, regional and international levels. We bring the experience of volunteers, partners and marginalised people to decision makers. Every single volunteer advocates for the rights of the individuals and communities they are working closely with.

Together, we have achieved salary reform for Cambodian teachers. In Zambia, we are working towards legislation that will give marginalised people, including women, improved rights over their land. Our education programmes in sub-Saharan Africa have helped to change attitudes towards education for disadvantaged children, such as girls and those with disabilities.

Around the world, our work amplifying the voices of the poorest people is making change happen.

Children at Ngwino Nawe school in Rwanda | VSO

Children at Ngwino Nawe in Rwanda, a VSO-supported school that caters to children with disabilities. We've changed national policy on accessible education with partners like the National Union of Disability Organisations of Rwanda.

VSO and the Sustainable Development Goals

We worked with networks like the Volunteer Groups Alliance to influence the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an ambitious set of goals and targets that will guide development until 2030. The SDGs cover everything from gender equality and environmental sustainability to hunger and quality education.

SDGs - Sustainable Development Goals
 

We worked hard to ensure that the SDGs recognised the following:

  • The unique role that volunteers can play in achieving the SDGs;
  • Achieving gender equality and women’s rights is central to reducing poverty; and
  • People must be engaged in their own development.

VSO’s programmes are aligned to many of the SDGs. We are supporting volunteers, partners and communities to hold leaders accountable to their commitments.

Claire Nic Gabhann from Monaghan training teachers and introducing child-centred teaching methods on placement in Bukoba, Tanzania. The SDGs recognise that volunteers like Claire are central to achieving the SDGs.

Claire Nic Gabhann from Monaghan training teachers and introducing child-centred teaching methods on placement in Bukoba, Tanzania. The SDGs recognise that volunteers like Claire are central to achieving the SDGs. 

VSO Ireland is an active member of Coalition 2030, an alliance that is committed to upholding Ireland’s commitment to achieving the SDGs at home in Ireland and in over 50 countries by 2030. The Coalition comprises of diverse organisations who share this aim, such as international and domestic NGOs, environmental groups, youth organisations and trade unions. Together, we are calling for a national action plan with a strong commitment from all government departments to achieve the SDGs and increased financing to do so.

VSO Ireland is also an institutional member of the Irish Forum on Global Education, a platform of Irish organisations focused on harnessing support in Ireland for SDG 4 – 'Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all'. We are also a member of the Dóchas Policy Working Group, a group of international development organisations that have come together to network, learn and share their resources and expertise. The aim of this group is to influence matters relating to the policy priorities of Dóchas and its members, and to promote Ireland's leadership on the world stage.

To find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals, visit the UN website or download VSO's SDG guide (PDF). 

Other ways to make change happen

If you want to fight global poverty and inequality, we want to help you. We can support you to:

If you're not quite ready to take the plunge yet, please keep in touch by subscribing to our newsletter or joining us on Facebook or Twitter.