Everyone Counts / Covid Edition. Chapter 6: On the Front Line - Stories of the Volunteers

Jan 4, 2023
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is a worldwide humanitarian aid organization that reaches 160 million people each year through its 192-member National Societies. "Everyone Counts" is an annual flagship publication of the IFRC. Chapter 6 of the Covid Edition of Everyone Counts presents causal maps which summarise the experience of volunteers during the pandemic. Work on the chapter was led by Steve Powell who was also lead consultant for the whole report. What was it like for Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers at the start of the pandemic? - How did they deal with the fear and uncertainty around the pandemic and the risks of infection? - How much did they rely on pre-existing skills and networks? - What can National Societies learn about their volunteers? - What motivated them? - How could National Societies protect them? One good way to explore these kinds of questions is through narratives – asking people to tell their own stories. We can summarize volunteers’ stories, looking for common themes, feelings and actions and for drivers and consequences of volunteering. The Solferino Academy invited volunteers around the world to submit their stories. The stories were translated into English using Google Translate and, for this chapter, were analysed using causal mapping. This is a kind of qualitative data analysis in which analysts are not instructed to look for general themes such as “fear” or “contacted National Society”, as in traditional qualitative data analysis, but to identify passages of text where people talk about how one thing influenced another.