Motivating volunteers : a case of cyclone preparedness programme volunteers in Bangladesh
AuthorAmin, Md. Ruhul
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Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) volunteers are increasingly being relied upon to aware people living in the coastal belt of Bangladesh for reducing loss of lives and assets due to cyclone. This volunteerism is continuing for the last four decades with several unique challenges specific to availability of adequate equipment and limited resources for capacity of volunteers’ to play their roles during cyclone. The purpose of this study is to examine the factors affecting motivation of volunteers. Another aim was to identify the underlying causes and/or hindering factors that discourage or demotivates volunteers and finally to find out factors affecting female volunteers to work as volunteers at the time of disasters.This study uses data from qualitative interviews with 10 volunteer groups, 5 community groups and 16 key informants dealing with CPP to explore volunteer motivations. Besides, quantitative data was also used from an assessment conducted by CPP with support from Save the Children in 2009. Findings revealed that most of the volunteers reported having more than one motives for enrolling them as volunteers. Of the several categories of motivations identified, those relating to altruistic concerns for others and community, social responsibility, religious benefits, reputation and hoping to gain community recognition/ honor were the most frequently mentioned. Volunteers also saw volunteering as an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills and or to put their own skills to good use. A few of the volunteers were hoping to gain financial benefits in course of their volunteerism. The CPP has good understanding of volunteers’ motives but a mismatch between organizational goals and volunteer motivations, and inadequate funding meant that volunteers’ most pressing motives were not satisfied. This led to discontentment and resentment among volunteers.