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Motivations for entering and remaining in volunteer service: findings from a mixed-method survey among HIV caregivers in Zambia.

Topp SM, Price JE, Nanyangwe-Moyo T, Mulenga DM, Dennis ML, Ngunga MM - Hum Resour Health (2015)

Bottom Line: Through parallel analyses of different data types and cross-over mixed analyses, we found shifting patterns in motivations across question type, question topic and question timing.Volunteers with lower and mid-level standard-of-living scores were significantly more likely to agree with economic motivation statements.These findings contribute to evidence in support of various reforms needed to strengthen the viability and sustainability of volunteer-dependent services including the need to acknowledge and plan for the economic vulnerability of so-called volunteer recruits.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. globalstopp@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: A high burden of HIV in many sub-Saharan African countries has triggered renewed interest in volunteer-based community health programmes as a way to support treatment roll-out and to deliver services to children orphaned due to HIV. This study was undertaken as an evaluation of a USAID project implemented by a consortium of 7 NGOs operating in 52 Zambian districts. We aimed to examine motivations for becoming volunteer caregivers, experiences in service and commitment to continue volunteering in the future.

Methods: A mixed-method survey approach was adopted incorporating close- and open-ended questions. District selection (3 of 52) was purposive, based on representation of urban, peri-urban and rural volunteers from a mix of the consortium's NGO affiliates. Individual volunteer recruitment was achieved via group information sessions and opportunistic sampling was used to reach a quota (~300) per study district. All participants provided written informed consent.

Results: A total of 758 eligible caregivers were surveyed. Through parallel analyses of different data types and cross-over mixed analyses, we found shifting patterns in motivations across question type, question topic and question timing. In relation to motivations for entering service, responses to both open- and close-ended questions highlighted the importance of value-oriented functions and higher order social aspirations such as "helping society" or "humanity". However, 70% of participants also agreed to at least one close-ended economic motivation statement and nearly a quarter (23%) agreed to all four. Illustrating economic need, as well as economic motivation, over half (53%) the study respondents agreed that they had become a volunteer because they needed help from the project. Volunteers with lower and mid-level standard-of-living scores were significantly more likely to agree with economic motivation statements.

Conclusions: Reliance by national and international health programmes on volunteer workforces is rooted in the assumption that volunteers are less costly and thus more sustainable than maintaining a professional cadre of community health workers. Understanding individuals' motivations for entering and remaining in volunteer service is therefore critical for programme planners and policy makers. This study demonstrated that volunteers had complex motivations for entering and continuing service, including "helping" and other pro-social values, but also manifest expectations of and need for material support. These findings contribute to evidence in support of various reforms needed to strengthen the viability and sustainability of volunteer-dependent services including the need to acknowledge and plan for the economic vulnerability of so-called volunteer recruits.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mama Waluse – an example of overlapping motivations.
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Fig3: Mama Waluse – an example of overlapping motivations.

Mentions: At the level of the population, the findings were fairly consistent: values-based and other-oriented themes were expressed as motivations for becoming a volunteer and as expectations met from the programme. Personal economic needs and material self-interest were, on the other hand, more often expressed as work barriers and as expectations not met. At the level of the individual, however, the other- versus self-oriented findings were often in tension. The example of “Mama Waluse” (Figure 3) is illustrative of this tension. Understanding the multiplicity of motivations and interests such as Mama Waluse’s in a coherent manner presents an obvious methodological challenge. The economic motivation index described in Table 2 was developed to confront this challenge.Figure 3


Motivations for entering and remaining in volunteer service: findings from a mixed-method survey among HIV caregivers in Zambia.

Topp SM, Price JE, Nanyangwe-Moyo T, Mulenga DM, Dennis ML, Ngunga MM - Hum Resour Health (2015)

Mama Waluse – an example of overlapping motivations.
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4557603&req=5

Fig3: Mama Waluse – an example of overlapping motivations.
Mentions: At the level of the population, the findings were fairly consistent: values-based and other-oriented themes were expressed as motivations for becoming a volunteer and as expectations met from the programme. Personal economic needs and material self-interest were, on the other hand, more often expressed as work barriers and as expectations not met. At the level of the individual, however, the other- versus self-oriented findings were often in tension. The example of “Mama Waluse” (Figure 3) is illustrative of this tension. Understanding the multiplicity of motivations and interests such as Mama Waluse’s in a coherent manner presents an obvious methodological challenge. The economic motivation index described in Table 2 was developed to confront this challenge.Figure 3

Bottom Line: Through parallel analyses of different data types and cross-over mixed analyses, we found shifting patterns in motivations across question type, question topic and question timing.Volunteers with lower and mid-level standard-of-living scores were significantly more likely to agree with economic motivation statements.These findings contribute to evidence in support of various reforms needed to strengthen the viability and sustainability of volunteer-dependent services including the need to acknowledge and plan for the economic vulnerability of so-called volunteer recruits.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. globalstopp@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: A high burden of HIV in many sub-Saharan African countries has triggered renewed interest in volunteer-based community health programmes as a way to support treatment roll-out and to deliver services to children orphaned due to HIV. This study was undertaken as an evaluation of a USAID project implemented by a consortium of 7 NGOs operating in 52 Zambian districts. We aimed to examine motivations for becoming volunteer caregivers, experiences in service and commitment to continue volunteering in the future.

Methods: A mixed-method survey approach was adopted incorporating close- and open-ended questions. District selection (3 of 52) was purposive, based on representation of urban, peri-urban and rural volunteers from a mix of the consortium's NGO affiliates. Individual volunteer recruitment was achieved via group information sessions and opportunistic sampling was used to reach a quota (~300) per study district. All participants provided written informed consent.

Results: A total of 758 eligible caregivers were surveyed. Through parallel analyses of different data types and cross-over mixed analyses, we found shifting patterns in motivations across question type, question topic and question timing. In relation to motivations for entering service, responses to both open- and close-ended questions highlighted the importance of value-oriented functions and higher order social aspirations such as "helping society" or "humanity". However, 70% of participants also agreed to at least one close-ended economic motivation statement and nearly a quarter (23%) agreed to all four. Illustrating economic need, as well as economic motivation, over half (53%) the study respondents agreed that they had become a volunteer because they needed help from the project. Volunteers with lower and mid-level standard-of-living scores were significantly more likely to agree with economic motivation statements.

Conclusions: Reliance by national and international health programmes on volunteer workforces is rooted in the assumption that volunteers are less costly and thus more sustainable than maintaining a professional cadre of community health workers. Understanding individuals' motivations for entering and remaining in volunteer service is therefore critical for programme planners and policy makers. This study demonstrated that volunteers had complex motivations for entering and continuing service, including "helping" and other pro-social values, but also manifest expectations of and need for material support. These findings contribute to evidence in support of various reforms needed to strengthen the viability and sustainability of volunteer-dependent services including the need to acknowledge and plan for the economic vulnerability of so-called volunteer recruits.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus