InterVol recommends the following learning resources on international development and volunteering overseas responsibly, many of which are free to download. We also recommend that you read and watch as much as you can about your host country as possible, both historically and culturally, ahead of your work overseas:
- The Role of Volunteering in Sustainable Development (Institute for Development Studies & VSO, 2015). Full Report (PDF).
An insightful document from IDS & VSO that analyses how volunteering can contribute to sustainable development. Though dense in parts this is a thorough piece of research across a number of countries demonstrating the importance of volunteers for building capacity and bridging gaps in NGO and government services.
- Be The Change: A Tool Kit For Taking Action Against Poverty and Injustice (Comhlámh, 2013). Full document (PDF).
A powerful introduction to making a positive and pro-active impact as an international volunteer. This contains useful guidance on communicating your message and using social media effectively which are useful for recruitment and fundraising.
- Rough Guide to a Better World (Rough Guides & DFID, 2005). Full book (PDF).
While this free book from Rough Guides and DFID is slightly old, the opening section on Global Development is a great introduction to the field.
- Volunteer Voices (Duncan McNicholl, 2017). Available to purchase.
A new publication that strongly highlights the challenges and impact that international volunteers can have across a number of case studies and stories from different countries and contexts. A very critical and people-centered publication that looks at how you can make the best impact while also developing your own skills.
- Models of International Volunteering (VOSESA, 2013). Full document available to view and download.
A great introduction to how international volunteering fits into the broader field of international development, including an analysis of different types of volunteering and good practices to follow when working overseas.
- The Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations, 2015). Website with downloadable PDF document for each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
An in-depth website listing the 17 SDGs set by the United Nations to address global poverty, health and education by 2030. The site goes into detail on the targets set to meet each of the 17 goals. This site is a useful resource to get a broad perspective of the key issues in international development today, each goal has a downloadable (and quite digestible) document when you click through. For example, Goal 1: Ending Poverty (PDF document download).
- Introduction to International Development (University of London, 2011). Full lecture course subject guide (PDF).
Looking for a more academic treatise on international development? Try this detailed subject guide from the University of London (Chapters 1-4 available). This is recommended for those with a basic background in economics and has a wealth of recommended further readings.