The aim of this analysis is to detect the price and social value of voluntary work in Estonia. This analysis serves the aims of valuing and enhancing voluntary activities as detailed in the “Estonian Civil Society Concept of Development” and “The Civil Society Development Plan of 2011-2014”.
“One of the main findings was that the connection between social cohesion and voluntary activities is valid only for the society under survey, in other words, it does not cross the cultural boundaries”– Risto Kaarna
The results of the project revealed that if the volunteers would be paid the public and the third sectors would use budget funds for this and could end up spending as much as 0.2%-0.56% of the GDP (in 2010 it would have been 29-82 million euros). The social values related to voluntary activities (social cohesion, trust and cooperation etc.) are far more unclear as they are dependent on several factors. To evaluate these associations in Estonia it is necessary to determine and collect different indicators of social value.
For better evaluation the study recommends that the civil society organizations (CSO) should keep track of the number of volunteers and of their contribution. When applying for funding the CSOs could present the volunteers contribution as part of their own financial contribution. The public sector should support the efforts of the CSOs to evaluate the contribution of the volunteers. Also the evaluation procedure should be regular and standardised. The recommendation of International Labour Organization (ILO) should be take heard of and the module of voluntary work should be added when the “Labour Force Survey” is conducted. This would guarantee an assured methodical approach as the module is based on a questionnaire provided by ILO. It would help to acquire the information needed and would allow for a better comparison on the international level.