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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
University of Toronto at Scarborough >
Social Sciences >
International Development Studies >
Senior Students Theses >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24508

Title: Rethinking Short-Term Aid: The Benefits of Short-Term vs. Long-Term International Volunteerism
Authors: Rodrigue, Tiana
Keywords: International Volunteering
Long-term
Gap-Year
Service-Learning
Short-term
Voluntourism
WUSC
Benefits
Issue Date: 9-Jul-2010
Abstract: From local to cross-cultural experiences, the changing face of volunteerism has seen an increasing number of individuals seeking to assist the less fortunate. Former studies have often concentrated efforts on understanding the psychological and physical motives behind a person’s decision to volunteer. Within these analyses, scholars have developed a series of common motives, benefits and factors influencing a positive volunteering experience. While many of these studies have been focused on community-based volunteerism, a rise in the number of volunteers seeking an international experience has merited increasing concentration. This shift has contributed to an influx of young volunteer-tourists and with it the creation of short-term development placements abroad to satisfy this demand. Demands for short-term placements have similarly been mirrored by development workers that have historically worked overseas for periods of at least two years. Has this shift contributed to a positive change in the way development is implemented and perceived? This study seeks to quantify the benefits of short-term versus long-term international volunteering in order to discover whether the increasing popularity of short-term volunteering positions has had consequential effects in the developing world. By using secondary data, questionnaires, and interviews, this study aims to determine whether the calculation of a benefits analysis is possible and/or justifies a particular volunteer or placement duration. Understanding the benefits of both placement durations may help organizations direct and justify one type of volunteer over another to facilitate development goals. Together these shifts have changed the course of organizations in the way in which they engage in and market overseas volunteering experiences. Through an exploratory case study research, this paper concludes that there are no significant benefits of long-term volunteerism that clearly outweigh those achieved by short-term volunteers. It also refutes past criticisms of short-term volunteering as ‘hit and run’ demonstrating that this group is as likely to produce positive benefits and outcomes as are people who serve longer durations abroad. These findings shed important light on current understandings of international volunteerism and sets up the groundwork for future research in the field.
Description: Please contact the researcher for further comments or inquiries. tianarodrigue@hotmail.com
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24508
Appears in Collections:Senior Students Theses

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