This working paper is a collective effort of a diverse group of professionals and volunteers to pull together the most salient issues in care and support for spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers. The hope is that the knowledge, thought leadership, practical tools, case examples and recommendations collected here will contribute to supporting both crisis managers, policy makers and practitioners to provide good care and support for spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers.
The single most important point made in this working paper is that it is imperative that crisis management fulfils its duty of care towards spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers. What this looks like in practice will differ significantly from one organization to another, from country to country and from community to community. But the spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers are always there. The care and support they need is often not. This working paper suggests a common description of the spontaneous unaffiliated volunteer as well as a framework along four dimensions to guide the development of local understandings and definitions of spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers. It presents the key global policy and practice frameworks for support and care for volunteers and makes specific recommendations for care and support for spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers.