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Accepted Paper:

Supporting Reflective Practice in development NGOs, UK  
Susannah Pickering-Saqqa (University of East London)

Paper short abstract:

This paper is situated in the resource -constrained UK third sector and the dearth of research on the use of reflective practice (RP) in development NGOs. It presents preliminary findings of a small research project to identify models of RP that could be of use in supporting volunteers.

Paper long abstract:

Resource constrained development NGOs working in the global South and North frequently rely on volunteers who may be university students or unfamiliar with the work of and context in which the NGO works. Thus, NGOs’ ability to respond to the challenges posed by the UN’s SDGs or the current cost of living, energy and climate crises often depends on volunteers (UNV, 2021). There is further evidence that in the context of the UK staff and volunteers working in the NGO sector are suffering from high levels of stress and burnout leading to a record number of vacancies in the sector and loss of skills (Draper, 2022; Wait, 2023). This points to the need for NGOs to do more to support their volunteers and yet resource constraints again hinder the effectiveness of this support.

This paper situates this dilemma in the scarce research available on use of reflective practice (RP) in the context of volunteering for development NGOs. However, the use of RP in the fields of nursing, social work, education, psychotherapy, urban planning and theatre is well established (Tarrant 2013; Maclean 2015; Boyd 2023; Bhola, Duggal and Isaac 2022; Sanyal et al 2012; Vettraino 2015).

The paper will present the preliminary findings of a small research project conducted at the University of East London with students and four community partners which aims to 1) map existing models of RP used across disciplines and in NGO literature and practice 2) share and test these models with our community partners

Panel P22
Barriers to NGOs and CSOs: the current crises of environment and development ( NGOs in development Study Group)
  Session 1 Thursday 29 June, 2023, -