INVOLVE – INitiate VOLunteerism to counter VulnErability
Funded by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Funding Period: January 2015 – December 2017
Project Partners: Free University of Berlin (FUB), German Red Cross (DRK)
- Prof. Dr. Stefan Strohschneider (project leader)
- Pablo Holwitt, M.A.
- Ines Kranert, M.A.
- Robert Zinke, M.A.
- Dr. Mareike Mähler, Dipl.-Psych.
- Anne Heyder, M.A
Volunteer work is an important pillar of a society’s ability to cope with different kinds of threats and disasters. However, the individual and societal sources of voluntary engagement in case of floodwaters, storms or extreme rainfall are not very well understood. We are looking at different contexts of volunteering in India and Germany in order to arrive at a better understanding of the factors that drive or inhibit the emergence of volunteering. In both societies volunteerism is crucial for disaster management and disaster mitigation agencies.
FinkA’s research aims at developing a theoretical model of the motives for volunteering or not volunteering. Therefore the project analyzes the mechanisms of social reciprocity in different cultures as well as mechanisms of group-related affiliation, in-group and out-group formation and barriers for engagement in different cultures and spaces. FinkA furthermore strives to understand the behavioral patterns of groups of volunteers in organizational life and the forms of their cooperation. It is expected that these insights will help develop successful strategies for the acquisition of voluntary relief workers from hitherto underrepresented milieus. In order to address these groups, training needs will be analyzed and specific requirements (language, literacy, etc.) will be clarified.
- Development of a formal theoretical model of the motives for volunteering or non-commitment.
- Analysis of the mechanisms of social reciprocity in different cultures; mechanisms of group-related affiliation, in-group and out-Group formation. What barriers can be identified that stand in the way of helping and involvement in different cultures and areas? On the other hand: What can the individual gain from volunteering?
- In-depth understanding of the behavioral patterns of volunteer groups in organizational life and the forms of their cooperation – both with professional staff and the general population.
- It is expected that from goals 1. to 3. successful strategies for the acquisition of voluntary relief workers from so far not represented milieus can be derived. For these groups, both the training needs analysis as well as the typical conditions (language, literacy, etc.) must be clarified.
- Development of strategies for the acquisition of volunteer emergency workers and their integration in the respective service tasks and service cultures.
- Development of culturally sensitive teaching methodology and development of targeted curricula and methods.
- Evaluation of the courses and seminars developed during the project.